A Chinese MoD photo.
BEIJING (PTI): China's top leadership has assured Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa that they completely understood the geo-political, economic and security situation in the region and its implications for the two "all- weather" friends, the Pakistan Army said Thursday.
The assurance was given to Gen. Bajwa as he met senior Chinese leaders and the military leadership on his maiden visit to Beijing where he discussed a range of issues, including defence cooperation, regional security situation and the ambitious China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), Pakistan military spokesman Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor said.
"COAS arrived in China on a 3-day official visit. Meets Chinese senior political & military leadership. Pak-China friendship is unique with no parallel," Ghafoor tweeted.
Bajwa called on Chinese Executive Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli, Vice Chairman of the Central Military Commission, Gen Fan Changlong, Chief of Joint Services Department, Gen Fang Fenghui and Commander of the People's Liberation Army (PLA), Gen Li Zhuocheng, and discussed topics like regional security, economy, defence cooperation and other issues of mutual interest.
"The Chinese leadership expressed complete understanding of the geo-political and economic-cum-security environment of the region and its implications for both the countries," a statement issued by the Pakistani military said.
"They acknowledged the positive role being played by Pakistan towards peace and stability in the region with special mention of Pakistan's role in eliminating terrorist groups including Al Qaeda, Tehreek-e-Taliban and the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) from Pakistan," it said.
The ETIM is an Islamic extremist separatist organisation founded by Uyghur jihadists in western China. It has training camps in Pakistan and Beijing has been pressing Islamabad to destroy the units operating in the country, posing a threat to the stability of China's restive region of Xinjiang.
During the meetings, the Chinese leadership also expressed their concern on the security situation in Afghanistan and the growing potential threat of Islamic State and ETIM in that country, the statement said.
"The Chinese leadership expressed their confidence in security arrangements for the USD 46 billion CPEC and satisfaction on progress made on the project," it said.
During the meeting between Vice Premier Zhang and Gen Bajwa, the two sides agreed to advance the CPEC project, China's state run Xinhua news agency reported.
Zhang lauded the rapid development of China-Pakistan ties, saying bilateral cooperation not only benefits the two peoples, but also contributes to regional peace and stability.
He called on the two sides to maintain close high-level contact and strengthen coordination on international and regional affairs, to lift bilateral ties to new heights.
Zhang also suggested that the two countries should enhance defence and security cooperation and push forward the building of the CPEC in an orderly manner, the report said.