Wed, 31 May 2023

Islamabad [Pakistan], June 30 (ANI): Pakistan and China pledged to strengthen bilateral ties and cooperation on Wednesday during the meeting between Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif and senior Chinese diplomat Yang Jiechi, who is on a two-day visit to Islamabad.

The meeting comes amid the faltering economy of Pakistan with China assuring its ally of a rollover of over USD 2 billion at a much-reduced rate.

Yang, a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, said Pakistan is China's "ironclad" friend and reliable brother. No matter how the international situation changes, the mutual trust and friendship between the two countries are rock solid, reported Xinhua.

During his visit, Yang also met with Pakistani Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Pakistani Chief of Army Staff Qamar Javed Bajwa.

"China has always prioritized Pakistan in developing its relations with neighbouring countries and is ready to further strengthen policy communication and development strategy alignment with Pakistan, carry on the traditional friendship, enhance mutual strategic trust, deepen pragmatic cooperation, jointly build the high-quality China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in a safe and smooth manner, and forge an even closer China-Pakistan community with a shared future in the new era," said Yang, who is also director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the CPC Central Committee.

Noting that China is willing to push for close coordination with Pakistan on multilateral affairs and safeguard the common interests of the developing countries, Yang said China appreciates Pakistan's support for its Global Development Initiative (GDI) and Global Security Initiative (GSI), reported Xinhua.

For his part, Sharif said developing relations with china is the cornerstone of his country's foreign policy.

Pakistan firmly adheres to the one-China policy and supports China in safeguarding its core interests and its positions on major concerns, he said, adding that the Pakistani government and people appreciate China for its long-term selfless assistance and are ready to learn from China's successful experience in economic development and fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, reported Xinhua.

Both sides agreed to further strengthen cooperation in maintaining regional security and stability, promoting regional development and combating terrorism.

Meanwhile, US on Tuesday (local time) blacklisted 36 companies, including those from China and Pakistan, for supporting Russia in the Ukraine conflict.

US President Joe Biden's administration has added five companies in China to a trade blacklist for supporting Russia's military and defense industrial base.

The agency also added another 31 entities to the blacklist from countries that include Russia, UAE, Lithuania, Pakistan, Singapore, the United Kingdom, Uzbekistan and Vietnam, according to the Federal Register entry. Of the 36 total companies added, 25 had China-based operations, reported Al Jazeera.

The United States has set out with allies to punish Russian President Vladimir Putin for the invasion, which Moscow calls a "special operation", by sanctioning a raft of Russian companies and oligarchs and adding others to a trade blacklist.

While US officials had previously said that China was generally complying with the restrictions, Washington has vowed to closely monitor compliance and rigorously enforce the regulations.

"We will not hesitate to act, regardless of where a party is located, if they are violating US law," Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Administration Thea Rozman Kendler said in the same statement. (ANI)

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