ISLAMABAD - Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua Monday said that friendship with China was the cornerstone of Pakistan’s foreign policy , and reiterated Pakistan’s support for China on its core issues.

In a meeting with Chinese State Councillor Yang Jiechi at the start of her three-day visit to China, she reiterated Pakistan’s support for China on its core issues, a foreign ministry statement issued here said.

“The state councillor noted that the recent visit of the Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang to Pakistan to participate in celebrations commemorating the 70th anniversary of independence on 14th August 2017 was in keeping with the long-standing traditions of the Pakistan-China all-weather strategic cooperative partnership,” the statement said.

Both sides, it said, acknowledged that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor was the flagship project of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and early completion of projects would bring tangible benefits to the people of both the countries.

The foreign secretary and state councillor discussed regional and international situation, it added.

She briefed the state councillor about the grave situation of Kashmiri people in the Indian Occupied Kashmir, the statement said.

Following her meeting with the state councillor, the foreign secretary addressed researchers, scholars and academics at the China Institute of International Studies on “Foreign Policy of Pakistan and regional and global situation”, which was followed by an interactive question and answer session.

Meanwhile, on Monday, another statement by the foreign ministry said the fifth session of the Pakistan-Turkmenistan Joint Governmental Commission was held in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan on August 17-18.

The session was co-chaired by Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif and Deputy Chairman of Cabinet of Ministers/Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan Rashid Meredov.

Besides reviewing implementation of decisions of the last JGC Session held in Islamabad in August 2014, the meeting focused on measures for trade enhancement and ways to intensify bilateral cooperation in diverse fields – including agriculture, communications, Information Technology, education, science and technology, industries, media and culture, said the statement.

Collaboration in the energy sector is a crucial component of the bilateral relationship.

Pakistan and Turkmenistan are engaged in the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India gas pipeline project, which holds huge potential for meeting Pakistan’s energy needs, the statement added.

“The two sides would seek ways of ensuring early realisation of these projects,” it said.

The two countries are also focused on measures for enhanced connectivity including air and land linkages to promote trade, travel, tourism and people-to-people contacts, said the statement.

“Pakistan and Turkmenistan enjoy close, cordial relations marked by trust and understanding. Bilateral collaboration in different sectors has been growing steadily,” it added.