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English >> Foreign Affairs

China, Pakistan aim for new pattern of strategic cooperation

Xinhua)  08:41, May 24, 2013  

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (R) meets with Nawaz Sharif, president of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), in Islamabad, Pakistan, May 23, 2013. (Xinhua/Ju Peng)

ISLAMABAD, May 23 (Xinhua) -- Visiting Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Pakistan's would-be prime minister Nawaz Sharif vowed Thursday to create a new pattern of bilateral strategic cooperation.

They agreed to strengthen all-round strategic cooperation in areas like economy and trade, and emphasized the plan of establishing an economic corridor that links China with Pakistan.

Economic development is a priority for both developed and developing countries. Without it, no country can improve people's well-being and ensure social harmony and security, said Li.

He urged the two sides to carry out the planning and construction works of the economic corridor as soon as possible. "I hope the project, which will benefit millions of people in related areas of the two countries, will be a new highlight in bilateral cooperation," he said.

Li congratulated Sharif on his victory in the recent general elections. Sharif is set to become prime minister for the third time as his Muslim League-Nawaz won elections on May 11 with a stunning comeback.

Li, who took office in March, said that the new Chinese leadership will continue to take ties with Pakistan as a priority in its foreign policy, and that the Chinese side is willing to work with Pakistan to carry forward their traditional friendship, promote all-round cooperation, open new fields of bilateral ties, and create a new pattern of strategic cooperation.

Sharif, two-time prime minister in the 1990s, welcomed Li's visit, saying that Pakistan sees China as the "closest and the most dependable friend."

"The friendly foreign policy towards China has been the common aspiration of all Pakistani people, and Pakistan regards it as a priority no matter which party takes power," Sharif said.

He noted that Li's visit has achieved fruitful results, which are conducive to consolidating Pakistan-China traditional friendship, promoting bilateral ties and pushing forward Pakistan's economic reform.

Later in the day, Li met with Pakistan's Senate Chairman Nayyar Hussain Bukhari and National Assembly Speaker Fahmida Mirza.

Li said China speaks highly of the efforts of the Senate and the National Assembly of Pakistan to develop bilateral ties and promote friendship between the two countries.

He called on the legislative bodies of the two countries to enhance exchange and cooperation, and consolidate the base of friendship.

Bukhari and Mirza said that developing friendly ties with China is the cornerstone of Pakistan's foreign policy, adding that the Senate and the National Assembly are ready to strengthen exchange and cooperation with the Chinese legislature.

Li will wrap up his two-day official visit to Pakistan later in the day and fly to Switzerland and Germany to continue his maiden foreign trip as premier. He has visited India.

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(Editor:HuangBeibei、Yao Chun)


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