Report – Joint ISSI-SIIS Webinar “China-Pakistan Relations in Changing Geopolitical Environment and Its Role in Regional Security and Stability”

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The China-Pakistan Study Centre (CPSC) at the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI) in collaboration with the Shanghai Institute for International Studies (SIIS) held a webinar on “China-Pakistan Relations in Changing Geo-Political Environment and Its Role in Regional Security and Stability” on September 27, 2021. The dialogue was divided into two sessions; inaugural session and working session. The distinguished speakers in the inaugural session included Dr. Talat Shabbir, Director CPSC; Ambassador Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry, DG ISSI; Chen Dongxiao, President SIIS; Dr. Moeed Yusuf, National Security Advisor; Ambassador Asim Iftikhar, Additional Secretary (Asia-Pacific) and Mr. Liu Jinsong, DG Asian Affairs, MFA PRC. The distinguished speakers in the working session included Ambassador Khalid Mahmood, Chairman BoG ISSI; Ambassador Zhang Chunxiang, Former Ambassador of China to Pakistan; Lt. General (Retd) Naeem Khalid Lodhi; Senior Col (Retd) Zhou Bo, Senior Fellow at Tsinghua University; Mustafa Hyder Sayed, ED PCI and Dr. Liu Zongyi, Senior Fellow at SIIS.

Inaugural Session

In his introductory remarks, Dr. Talat Shabbir, Director CPSC, said,region around China and Pakistan is experiencing unprecedented change at a rapid pace. The role of regional countries and great powers is undergoing structural changes. With new situation in Afghanistan, the developments there will determine next course of regional security in South and Central Asia. Pakistan and China being neighbours and key stakeholders in peace and stability in South and Central Asia are directly affected by evolving regional situation. At the same time, Pakistan and China need to continue to maintain close strategic communication and coordination to jointly respond to changing situation and work towards peace and stability in the broader region.

Dr. Talat Shabbir underscored that on the heels of the Taliban takeover, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told Secretary of State Antony Blinken that China desired a “soft landing” for the country. Chinese Foreign Minister’s words highlight China’s paramount priority for Afghanistan: stability above all else. Similarly, Pakistan remains committed to an inclusive political settlement representing all Afghan ethnic groups as the way forward, which is the path towards lasting peace and stability. China and Pakistan share similar stances and interests on the Afghan issues. As two important neighbours of Afghanistan, China and Pakistan are closely coordinating on Afghan issues. Both sides welcomed end of the US military presence in Afghanistan, which was a source of regional instability.

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