Premier Wen Jiabao left Beijing on a four-nation tour to South Asia on April 5. He will visit Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and India and will also deliver a speech at the Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) held in Islamabad, Pakistan.
South Asia is the important neighboring area of China and the important link for good-neighborliness' diplomacy.
In recent years, with the relaxation of India-Pakistan relations and the rapid development of regional economy, it has become a consensus for China and the South Asian countries to seek peace, stability and development and the political and economic links between China and the South Asian countries are getting closer. The trade volume between China and India and that between China and Pakistan hit new highs in history in 2004, reaching 13.6 billion US dollars and 3 billion US dollars respectively.
At present the "all-weather" strategic partnership between China and Pakistan has continuously developed; the constructive strategic partnership of cooperation between China and India has been pushed forward stably; and the traditional friendly relations between China and Bangladesh and that between China and Sri Lanka are also under development.
Premier Wen's visit to South Asia will lay a solid foundation for consolidating and expanding the regional cooperation and common prosperity between China and the South Asian countries.
Pakistan is the first stop for Premier Wen Jiabao's trip to South Asia. So Sino-Pakistani relations have attracted more attention.
From the geopolitical position of strategy Pakistan is the big country in the important South Asian region and also one of the largest Islamic countries in the world. Pakistan has exerted comparatively bigger impact on the Central Asia and West Asia. Pakistan has played a more prominent geopolitical role in regional security after September 11 incident. The promotion of the overall cooperative partnership between China and Pakistan will exert a very important influence on maintaining the stability and regional safety in the northwest borderland of China as well as on boosting the traditional friendly relations between China and the Islamic world.
Judging from the historical basis of the Sino-Pakistan relations the Sino-Pakistan relations have been tested through history for a long time, and is not fettered by ideology and not influenced by the changing international situation. China and Pakistan have had mutual support and maintained "moral friendship" sharing the weal and woe together all the time.
With the in-depth development of multi-layered and all-directional strategic cooperation between the two countries in recent years, the Sino-Pakistani relations have become an exemplary model for China's good-neighborliness diplomacy.
China and Pakistan have supported each other strategically with gradual expansion of security cooperation. Both sides have frequent high-level exchanges.
In recent years, there has been continuous expansion in the area of security cooperation between China and Pakistan with strengthened negotiations on the issue of regional security; joint development of jet fighters in the area of military security; and pragmatic cooperation in fighting against three evil forces of national secessionism, religious extremism and international terrorism.
So far, China and Pakistan have established an "anti-terrorism hotline" and also held a joint anti-terrorist military exercise in August last year in Xinjiang, China. The non-traditional security cooperation between the two countries has further improved the strategic mutual trust between China and Pakistan, which is beneficial to the improvement of security around China and to safeguarding regional stability.
The economic foundation for Sino-Pakistani strategic cooperation has been enhanced with each passing day. The overall cooperative partnership between China and Pakistan cannot exist if without economic foundation. How to enlarge the economic cooperation between the two countries has become the important issue for the leaders of the two countries to have common consideration.
When the former Premier Zhu Rongji paid a visit to Pakistan in 2001, he put forward four-point suggestions for strengthening the economic and trade relations between China and Pakistan. Since then, the economic and trade volume between China and Pakistan has been increased annually. The two countries chalked up a record trade volume of some US$3.06 billion last year. The Preferential Trade Agreement between China and Pakistan came into effect last year. Pakistan has fully recognized China's market economic status. The large-sized projects including the construction of Gwadur Port, Santak Copper Mine and Chashma nuclear power plant aided by China have been underway smoothly. Some Chinese enterprises have increased their investment in Pakistan.
The overall cooperative partnership between China and Pakistan is based on the "moral friendship" of good neighbors, relatives and partners. With the promotion of the high-level leaders of the two countries and with enhancement of the pragmatic cooperation between the two countries, Premier Wen's trip to Pakistan will bring new vigor to the "all-weather" cooperation between China and Pakistan.
By People's Daily Online