Chinese premier calls for closer China-Pakistan partnership

15:24, December 19, 2010      

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Visiting Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao told Pakistani lawmakers Sunday that the two sides should further enhance their strategic cooperative partnership.

"To cement and advance the all-weather strategic partnership of cooperation between China and Pakistan is our common strategic choice," he said in an address at the Pakistani parliament.

"It serves the fundamental interests of both countries and peoples and contributes to peace, stability and development of the region and beyond," he added.

Wen said the two neighboring countries are permanent friends.

"Time flies, but true friendship remains... China and Pakistan are brothers forever," he said.

The Chinese premier also called upon the two countries to shape the future together, suggesting the two sides further improve communication on issues of mutual concern.

"We should preserve the tradition of close exchanges at the leadership level, step up communication and coordination on issues that concern our respective core interests, and firmly support and help each other," he said.

Wen further suggested the two sides reinforce their practical cooperation in various fields.

"China will take an active part in Pakistan's post-disaster reconstruction... We support Pakistan's endeavor to develop itself... We stand ready to advance cooperation with you in energy, transport, and infrastructure," he said.

Wen said the two sides will celebrate the Year of China-Pakistan Friendship in 2011.

"We should expand people-to-people and cultural exchanges. Next year has been designated as the Year of China-Pakistan Friendship. A number of exchange activities will be held," he said.

China has decided to provide 500 government scholarships to Pakistan in the next three years, and 100 Pakistani high school students will be invited to participate in the Chinese Bridge Summer Camp in China, Wen said.

"We would like to see more young Pakistani people visiting and studying in China," he added.

On trade and financial issues, Wen said China backs Pakistan's endeavor to develop itself through expanded international trade and investment cooperation.

"China welcomes Pakistan's effort to capitalize on the preferential terms in the bilateral FTA to expand exports to China," Wen noted.

Wen also said China may explore the possibility of a currency swap agreement with Pakistan.

"Greater financial cooperation between China and Pakistan will provide a strong support for the in-depth and sustained growth of our economic and trade ties," Wen said.

On regional and international cooperation, the Chinese premier said both countries should enhance their coordination and cooperation in regional and international affairs.

China and Pakistan have common interests and broad consensus on such major international issues as the UN reform, the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals, climate change, and food and energy security, Wen said.

"We should make joint efforts to meet challenges and promote harmonious and sustainable development of the world," he said.

Wen will conclude his South Asian trip on Sunday. He stressed that "peace, development, and cooperation have become the aspiration of all peoples and trend of the times."

Source:Xinhua
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