China president congratulated his Pakistani counterpart on the CPEC Political Parties Joint Consultation Mechanism conference
China’s President Xi Jinping in a letter to President Arif Alvi said that China is willing to work with Pakistan in boosting cooperation amongst countries in the region. He added that Pakistan and China are working to maintain the “momentum of peace and development in the region.”
“Political parties of China and Pakistan have carried out friendly consultations on a regular basis,” the letter stated as the two countries move ahead with CPEC, a mega project that may eventually take decades to be fully completed. Recently, the second CPEC Political Parties Joint Consultation Mechanism conference took place in Pakistan.
Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister, was also present in China for a two day official visit that was termed as “very important”. In a joint statement issued after talks between China’s State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi in Beijing reiterated the support for each other. It was also significant that China supported Pakistan in evolving its policies independently to suit its national interests.
“The Chinese side reiterated that Pakistan and China are iron brothers and Pakistan remains China’s staunchest partner in the region and that China firmly supports Pakistan in safeguarding its territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence, independently choosing a development path based on its national conditions, striving for a better external security environment and playing a more constructive role in international and regional affairs,” the joint communiqué read.
Recent tensions with Saudi Arabia
Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have maintained extremely close ties from the very beginning. However, recently there have been issues between the two sides. Saudi Arabia is slowly pivoting towards India and as per reports, wants Pakistan to soften its stance on Kashmir. Financial terms also appear to be on the rocks with Pakistan returning a billion dollars on an extended credit facility which was not due for several months. Pakistan’s foreign minister in an interview also expressed his frustration on Saudi Arabia’s inaction over calling an OIC meet for Kashmir.