Thursday, 23 May 2013 01:24
ISLAMABAD: The leadership of Pakistan and China Wednesday expressed their resolve in reinforcing strategic partnership between the two countries and opening up new avenues for bilateral cooperation in diverse fields.
President Asif Ali Zardari and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang held wide-ranging discussions on bilateral, regional and international issues.
According to spokesperson to the President Senator Farhatullah Babar, the President urged the need for improved connectivity between Pakistan and China and the region at large, which he said, would turn this region into a vibrant trade, energy and economic corridor.
Gawadar project is part of the endeavour to improve connectivity and holds great promise to create a regional economic and trade corridor, the President said and termed the 21st century as the century of Asia.
He emphasized the need for joint efforts by all to realize the shared aspiration for the common good of the people of the region.
President Zardari said that Pakistan enjoyed unique relationship with China, which was rooted in national consensus and had always been the cornerstone of Pakistan's foreign policy.
The President said that Pakistan's geo-strategic location and its trade and economic potential offered great opportunities for the Chinese investors and called upon Chinese business community to take advantage of the enormous opportunities to develop mutually beneficial partnerships.
He appreciated China's economic support and assistance to the economic development and Pakistan's sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence.
During bilateral talks, the two leaders agreed to further boost bilateral relations in the fields of economy, trade, investment, agriculture, industry, defence and people-to-people contacts with special focus on further strengthening economic linkages.
They expressed satisfaction on the current status of bilateral trade ties and urged the need for more consistent efforts on both sides to boost bilateral trade to US$ 15 billion from the current US$ 12.4 billion in the next two to three years.
The President said that Pakistan was an energy starved country and sought Chinese cooperation to develop hydro, thermal, solar and wind power generation to meet its growing demand of energy.
President Zardari hoped that the various memorandums of understanding and agreements inked between the two countries today in various fields, including economy, science and technology, space & upper atmosphere communication and energy would give further impetus to the trade and investment ties hence improving the wel-lbeing of their people.
The spokesperson said that the two leaders shared common concerns on terrorism, separatism and extremism, which posed serious threats to regional peace, stability and security. They reiterated their resolve to continue cooperation both at bilateral and multilateral levels in combating these evil forces.
Li Keqiang said that the government and the people of China recognized and appreciated the huge human and material sacrifices Pakistan had made in the fight against extremism and assured that China would continue to support Pakistan in combating terrorism.
The Chinese Premier thanked the President and government of Pakistan for the warm welcome and hospitality and said that Pakistan was an important country in the region and it had made significant contribution to peace, stability and development of the region and the world at large. Pak- China relationship is an excellent example of countries of different social systems living in amity with each other, he added.
Mr. Li assured that China would continue to firmly support Pakistan in its efforts to uphold independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity and achieving national stability and development.
The Chinese Premier said that he had selected Pakistan for his official visit to show to the international community that China was committed to consolidate its traditional friendship with Pakistan and deepening the strategic cooperation between the two countries. No matter how the international situation may evolve, China-Pakistan will always remain each other's trustworthy partners and reliable brothers, he added.
From Chinese side, the meeting was attended among others by Wang Yi, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Xu Shaoshi, Minister of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), Gao Hucheng, Minister of Commerce, Xiao Jie, Deputy Secretary- General of State Council, Song Tao, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs and Liu Jian, Ambassador of China to Pakistan.
From Pakistan side, the delegation level meeting was attended among others by Asadullah Khan Mandokhel, Minister for Communication and Ports & Shipping, Maqbool H.H. Rahimtoola, Minister for Commerce & Textile Industries, Malik Mohammad Habib Khan, Minister for Interior and Narcotics Control, Dr. Musadik Malik, Minister for Water & Power, Dr. Younis Soomro, Minister for Housing & Works / Minister- in-Waiting, Shahid Amjad, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance, M. Salman Faruqui, Secretary General to the President, Spokesperson to the President Senator Farhatullah Babar, Jalil Abbas Jilani, Foreign Secretary, federal secretaries Economic Affairs Division, Finance, Ports & Shipping and Interior, Addl Secretary Defence, DG Strategic Plans Division and Masood Khalid, Ambassador of Pakistan to China.Copyright APP (Associated Press of Pakistan), 2013