Sunday, 01 April 2012 17:53
BOAO: Pakistan and China on Sunday agreed to stand with each other `in all circumstances' and vowed to uphold their sovereignty and territorial integrity at all costs.
Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani and China's Executive Vice Premier, Li Keqiang expressed these views as they met on the sidelines of Boao Forum here.
"China's friend is our friend, and China's enemy is ours," Prime Minister Gilani assured the Chinese leader, in a meeting held at the State Guest House here.
Gilani said Pakistan considers China's security as its own security and supports China's position on Taiwan, Tibet and Xinqiang.
China's Executive Vice Premier categorically said that China would support Pakistan's sovereignty and territorial integrity in every situation.
"No matter what changes take place at international level, we will uphold Pakistan's sovereignty and territorial integrity," he said, and added Pakistan and China are strategic partners that respect and trust each other at equal level.
He said China supports Pakistan's role in regional and international affairs.
Prime Minister Gilani said Pakistan was grateful to the Chinese support for upholding Pakistan's sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity.
He said his government gives high importance to the security of Chinese citizens in Pakistan, and added that he was personally monitoring the process to provide them extensive protection.
He condemned the recent terrorist incident in China's city of Kashgar and said Pakistan considered East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM) as a common threat to both countries.
Gilani said the Pak-China friendship was based on mutual trust and respect, and remained the cornerstone of Pakistan's foreign policy.
He said Pakistan is committed to fighting terrorism in all its forms and added that "We are pursuing the war against terrorism in our own interest and I am glad that the world hailed my 3D policy of Dialogue, Development and Deterrence."
The Prime Minister said Pakistan greatly values China's economic assistance and wished to promote closer collaboration in agriculture, irrigation, energy, infrastructure development, railways and security sectors.
He expressed the satisfaction that Pak-China Joint Energy Working Group, which will meet soon, was an encouraging landmark in the relations of two countries.
He said the five-year Economic Trade Relation Plan is targeting projects that would stimulate social development in Pakistan.
Gilani said Pakistan would appreciate if China could help it in the Neelum-Jhelum Hydropower Project and on the construction of small and medium-sized dams.
He sought cooperation from the Chinese side on the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project.
He said Pakistan wanted to maintain friendly relations with all its neighbours including China, India and Afghanistan. He mentioned resumption of composite dialogue with India and said Pakistan wanted a peaceful and stable Afghanistan.
Gilani said Pakistan is mindful of the importance of maintaining a working and constructive engagement with the United States but would not compromise on its sovereignty and national dignity.
He referred to his meeting with the US President Barack Obama in Seoul, where he apprised him that Pakistan's parliament would decide about the parameters of relations with the United States.
The Prime Minister said domestically, his government's priorities were democratic consolidation and social stability, recovery and strong performance of economy.
He mentioned that Pakistan Peoples Party had strong ties with China's Communist Party, dating back to 1960s under the leadership of Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.
Gilani sought China's assistance in the establishment of Benazir Bhutto Institute of Media Science.
He said the unique friendship of Pakistan and China should be transferred to the younger generation.
The Chinese Executive Vice Premier said his country wants to further the existing friendly relations with Pakistan in diverse fields.
He appreciated the Government of Pakistan for improving the living standard of its people
He recalled his visit to Pakistan in 1980 as the head of youth delegation, and said he still had the memories of the Pakistani people who chanted the slogans of `Long live Pak-China friendship'.
He mentioned President Asif Ali Zardari's visit to China's Urumqi city last year, where he said that he would send his daughter to China for studies.
Prime Minister Gilani said he would also send his daughter, who is a Goodwill Ambassador for women, to learn about China's reforms on women development.
Copyright APP (Associated Press of Pakistan), 2012