Chinese envoy meets FM, successful diplomatic ties discussed

Islamabad: Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Nong Rong on Thursday met Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi at the Foreign Ministry.

During the meeting, issues of mutual interest including the 70th anniversary of successful diplomatic relations between Pakistan and China were discussed.

Regional security issues, including progress in the Pak-China Economic Corridor (CPEC), were also discussed.

The Chinese Ambassador thanked the Foreign Minister for his full cooperation in the celebrations of 70 years of diplomatic relations between Pakistan and China.

Qureshi said Pakistan was committed to the timely completion of ongoing projects under CPEC.

He said Special Economic Zones to be set up under CPEC will lead to development not only for both the countries but for the entire region.

“We are offering special incentives to attract foreign investors in these special economic zones,” he added.

The Foreign Minister appreciated China’s support in the fight against corona and the provision of vaccines and thanked the Chinese leadership.

The Chinese envoy also called on Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed. The interior minister told the envoy that Pakistan had approved a new visa policy regarding CPEC projects and Chinese nationals. Under the new policy, the minimum period of new visas for Chinese nationals has been set at two years.

According to a statement issued by the Interior Ministry, the Minister and the Chinese Ambassador discussed issues of mutual interest including Pakistan-China bilateral relations, CPEC projects, Pak-China bilateral cooperation agreements and visa facilitation for Chinese citizens.

The Home Minister expressed happiness over the completion of 70 years of diplomatic relations between Pakistan and China. On the occasion, the Minister said that the government has approved the new visa policy for Chinese citizens.

Sheikh Rashid said that Chinese citizens would now be issued two-year work visas within 48 hours from the respective missions, adding that a separate visa category has been created for Chinese citizens related to CPEC projects. Special desks are also being set up at airports to facilitate Chinese citizens.

The Chinese Ambassador said that he was grateful to the government of Pakistan for easing visa facilities for Chinese nationals, which would further enhance the relationship between the two countries, increase investment in CPEC related projects and create new job opportunities.

Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed thanked the Chinese government for providing the coronavirus vaccine to Pakistan while the Ambassador commended the arrangements made by Pakistan to control the pandemic.