Beijing: China and Pakistan have agreed to strengthen anti-terrorism and security cooperation along a USD 50 billion economic corridor that links the restive regions of the two countries through a network of rail and road projects.
The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) connects Xinjiang province in northwest China with the deep-water Gwadar port on the Arabian Sea in southwestern Pakistan. It faces challenges from Islamic militants in both the regions.
The CPEC, a part of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road (B&R) initiative, runs through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) and India has raised objection to the project.
The security cooperation agreement was reached when Meng Jianzhu, head of the Commission for Political and Legal Affairs of the Communist Party Central Committee, met visiting Pakistani Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif and Pakistani National Security Adviser Nasser Khan Janjua yesterday in Beijing.
Reports have said that Pakistan deployed a 15,000-strong military force to protect Chinese nationals working on various projects linked to the CPEC. This includes 9,000 Pakistan Army soldiers and 6,000 para-military forces personnel.
About 71,000 Chinese reported to have visited Pakistan last year.
Meng praised Pakistan’s efforts in counter-terrorism and called for strengthened anti-terrorism and security cooperation in building the ambitious economic corridor.
“China and Pakistan, as good friends, friendly neighbours and all-weather strategic cooperative partners, have always firmly supported each other’s core interests,” Meng said. PTI