Wen starts official visit to Pakistan after India trip (2)

11:25, December 18, 2010      

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At the beginning of their talks, Wen extended appreciation for the hospitality of the Pakistani people for his visit. He said the two nations enjoy a profound friendship that has laid a solid foundation for bilateral relations.

"China and Pakistan were, are and will always be good neighbors, good friends, good partners and good brothers," Wen said.

In order to enhance communication and cooperation between the two "all-weather" strategic cooperative partners, Wen added, Beijing is ready to establish an annual conference mechanism between the two countries' leaders and a regular dialogue framework between their foreign ministers.

China appreciates the strong support Pakistan has long been offering on issues concerning China's core interests, and will continue backing Pakistan's efforts in defending national sovereignty, maintaining social stability and achieving independent and sustainable economic development, Wen said.

Noting that Pakistan has made huge sacrifice for and important contributions to the global counterterrorism campaign, the Chinese premier said his country is ready to work together with Pakistan to promote regional peace and stability.

Meanwhile, a great potential is yet to be tapped in the two countries' practical cooperation, Wen stressed, saying that concerted efforts are needed in this regard to bring more benefits to the two peoples.

In a three-point proposal, Wen prioritized the task to help Pakistan's rebuilding efforts after its nationwide deadly flooding this summer, and pledged to assist in road repair, food production and other relief programs if needed.

Additionally, the two sides should consolidate cooperation in infrastructure construction and expand collaboration in trade, investment and financial sectors, Wen added.

On the cultural sphere, he proposed to designate 2011 as the Year of China-Pakistan Friendship, co-sponsor activities to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations, further broaden people-to-people exchanges, and thus promote mutual understanding and friendship between the two nations.

Gilani, for his part, said that China is Pakistan's "best" and "most-trusted" friend, and that he was proud of the growth of their bilateral "all-weather" friendship.

He expressed full agreement with Wen's proposal, saying that Pakistan is willing to join hands with China to beef up top-level contacts and strategic cooperation and pass on the two nations' friendship from generation to generation.

The Pakistani side, Gilani said, is confident that with concerted efforts, the Pakistan-China strategic cooperative partnership will surely reach higher levels.

Following their talks, the two leaders witnessed the signing of a number of documents on bilateral cooperation in economy, energy, finance, culture and other areas.

During Wen's three-day trip in Pakistan, he is scheduled to meet Pakistani leaders and representatives who have contributed to bilateral friendship.

He will also address a joint session of Pakistan's parliament and inaugurate the China-Pakistan Friendship Center, a project built to facilitate exchanges among the two countries' students, media and academic circles.

Source: Xinhua

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