China, Pakistan highlight cooperation in Beijing

Hu Jintao meets Pakistani President Musharraf
Chinese President Hu Jintao said the new Chinese leadership attaches great importance to Sino-Pakistani relations and will work with Pakistan to continuously push forward cooperation.

Hu met Monday afternoon with visiting Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf who arrived here earlier for a three-day state visit to China. Before arriving here, Musharraf attended the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2003 held in Boao, Hainan Province.

Speaking highly of bilateral relations, Hu pointed to bilateral cooperation with mutual trust and support despite international changes.

China appreciates Pakistan's support for China on major issues concerning China's sovereignty and interests, said Hu.

Musharraf said the Pakistani people treasured the traditional friendship with the Chinese people.

Pakistan will make concerted efforts with China to continuously promote the overall development of bilateral friendship and cooperation, said Musharraf.

Hu made a four-point proposal for the further development of bilateral relations.

The first was to continue frequent bilateral high-level contacts and promote bilateral exchanges between government and non-government institutions, especially between the youth of the two countries.

The second was to strengthen bilateral cooperation for mutual benefit in such fields as economy, trade, science and technology, substantiate preferential trade arrangements, and encourage and support the expansion of cooperation between businesses of the two sides.

The third was to deepen bilateral cooperation in the field of non-traditional security, and jointly combat drug trafficking, trans-national crimes and the "three forces" which threatened regional peace.

The fourth was to maintain bilateral communication and coordination in international and regional affairs.

Hu said the joint declaration signed by the two sides on the future bilateral cooperation was the guideline for bilateral relations.

Hu said he hoped the relevant departments of the two sides could cooperate closely to implement all the tasks specified in the document and jointly push the China-Pakistan all-round cooperative partnership to a new stage in the new century.

Musharraf said Hu's proposals have significant meaning in improving Pakistan-China cooperation and he fully agreed with Hu.

Musharraf said economic and trade cooperation between Pakistan and China had achieved remarkable results and will have broad prospects in the future.

He said Pakistan welcomes more Chinese enterprises to invest in its infrastructure construction and mineral resources exploitation.

He said Pakistan is also willing to improve bilateral cooperation and exchanges in tourism, culture and education to further improve Pakistan-China friendship and lay down a solid foundation for cooperation.

Sino-Pak pledge to fight the 'three forces'
The leaders of China and Pakistan also pledged to battle separatist Muslims while inking economic deals aimed at boosting trade ties.

President Hu Jintao said both nations must battle the "three forces" - extremism, ethnic separatism and terrorism. And Hu called on the two nations to step up their fight against transnational crime and drug smuggling.

Pakistan stands firmly against terrorism, Musharraf said, adding that his country will never allow anybody, including the terrorist force of "East Turkistan", to use the territory of Pakistan to carry out any form of anti-China activities.

Small numbers of separatist Muslims from Xinjiang have reportedly trained in al Qaeda camps in Pakistan.

Musharraf's visit comes on the heels of joint naval exercises between Pakistan and China off the coast of Shanghai late last month. Those exercises were China's first with a foreign navy.

The two sides also exchanged views on regional issues.

Hu said China will, as always, support the reconciliation between Pakistan and India and continue to play a constructive role in promoting peace, security and stability in south Asia.

The two heads of state attended the signing ceremony of several documents including a joint declaration on the direction of the future development of China-Pakistan bilateral cooperation and a treaty on extradition.

By People's Daily Online

People's Daily Online ---