China, Pakistan reaffirm 'all-weather' friendship

08:01, May 19, 2011      

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Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani Wednesday reaffirmed their "all-weather" friendship as the two countries celebrate the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties.

The two leaders held talks at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing Wednesday afternoon and pledged to "inject new vitality into the friendship and cooperation" between the two countries by celebrating the anniversary. This year is also the China-Pakistan Friendship Year, which was declared by Wen and Gilani during Wen's visit to Pakistan in December 2010.

Gilani is making a four-day visit to China, which is also a part of a series of celebration activities.

The bilateral ties between the two countries have withstood various tests since China and Pakistan forged diplomatic relations 60 years ago, and have yielded great dividends for the two peoples as well as made great contributions to peace and stability in Asia, Wen said during the talks with his Pakistani counterpart.

"Facing the changing international and regional situation, China is willing to work with Pakistan, give full play to the mechanism of annual meetings between state leaders and that of diplomatic consultations between the two countries to step up communication and cooperation, and safeguard our common interests as 'all-weather' strategic partners," said the Chinese Premier.

Wen said that Pakistan has made great sacrifices for and contributions to the global war against terrorism, urging the international community to understand and support Pakistan' s efforts to maintain domestic stability and advance the economic and social development.

"Pakistan' s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity must be respected," he added.

Wen said that China is trying its best to help Pakistan in the post-disaster reconstruction. Last year, the South Asian country experienced its worst-ever floods in 80 years.

During the talks, Wen said that the two sides have identified infrastructure, energy and agriculture as priority areas of bilateral cooperation.

"The Chinese government encourages Chinese enterprises in expanding their investment in Pakistan and boosting cooperation with the Pakistani side in terms of trade, finance and technology," he said.

"I want to stress that no matter how the international situation changes, China and Pakistan will always be good neighbors, friends, partners and brothers," Wen added.

Gilani echoed Wen' s remarks and praised China as "the most reliable friend and all-weather strategic partner."

Gilani thanked the Chinese government and Chinese people for their selfless help and support to the Pakistani side.

Pakistan is willing to work together with China to step up bilateral cooperation in infrastructure, energy, agriculture, investment, trade,finance and people-to-people exchanges, as well as their coordination and cooperation in international and regional affairs, and take advantage of the anniversary to push the Pakistan-China strategic partnership of cooperation to a new high.

After the talks, the two leaders witnessed the signing of three cooperative documents between the two countries, including an agreement on economic and technical cooperation between the two countries, an Amendment to the Memorandum of Understanding on Crisis Management between the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) and the State Bank of Pakistan, and Addendum No. 2 to the Lease Contract Sanduck Copper-Gold Project for Extension between Metallurgical Corporation of China Ltd and Sanduck Metals Ltd.

Liu Mingkang, chairman of the CBRC, said the amendment between the bank and the State Bank of Pakistan is a very important agreement, as it allows the two sides to strengthen coordination, exchange information and make joint efforts to tackle crises together.

Source: Xinhua
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