China, Pakistan vow to support multilateralism, fight protectionism



Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Pakistani Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif agreed on Monday that the two countries need to cooperate more than ever to fight rising unilateralism and protectionism.

Asif is visiting Beijing to attend the meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) from Monday to Tuesday.

The two foreign ministers agreed that currently unstable elements are prominent in international relations, stressing that economic globalization is a global trend. China and Pakistan will support multilateralism and maintain global trade system with the World Trade Organization (WTO) as its core, both diplomats pledged.

Wang said the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor – a flagship project implementing the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative – is progressing well, adding that China will continue to support Pakistan in economy, construction, anti-terrorism and international affairs.

The two-day SCO foreign ministers' meeting will discuss issues related to peace and security at an international and regional level and the promotion of cooperation between SCO member states. Pakistan has been playing an active role in SCO since becoming a full member in June last year.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi met earlier this month at Boao Forum for Asia in Boao in south China's Hainan Province. The two countries vowed to further develop their all-weather friendship.

The SCO was founded at a summit in Shanghai in 2001 by the presidents of Russia, China, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

The organization currently comprises of eight member states: China, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, India, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.

The SCO has four members with observer states, including Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran and Mongolia.

Wang will meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Monday afternoon and agreements for cooperation between the two countries are to be signed.