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China, Pakistan reaffirm friendship, expect more cooperation

Updated: Oct 08,2019 10:05 PM

Premier Li Keqiang held a meeting with Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Oct 8.

Khan, who is on an official visit to China, will also attend the closing ceremony of the 2019 International Horticultural Exhibition.

Premier Li had sent his condolences to the Pakistani government and people over the last month's severe earthquake in Pakistan.

He said the relationship between China and Pakistan, which is an all-weather strategic cooperative partnership, has a deep foundation and has gained support from the people of both countries.

Khan's visit is highly valued, and the prime minister will also meet with President Xi Jinping, Premier Li said.

Keeping China-Pakistan relationship as a top priority of its neighborhood diplomacy, China firmly supports Pakistan to safeguard its sovereignty and legitimate interests, to promote prosperity, and to play a bigger role in international and regional affairs, Premier Li added.

He said the Chinese side is willing to work with Pakistan to deepen strategic mutual trust, expand practical cooperation, increase people-to-people exchanges and push the relations and cooperation between the two countries to a new level.

Premier Li said that cooperation between China and Pakistan not only conforms to the two countries’ interests, but also is conducive to regional peace and stability.

China is glad to know that Pakistan has gotten through the difficult period and will continue to provide support, he added.

China is willing to strengthen the connection of development strategies with Pakistan, promote a high-quality development of the China-Pakistan economic corridor, increase bilateral cooperation in fields such as infrastructure, economy and trade, financial sector and energy, according to the Premier.

The Premier further said that China will make China-Pakistan trade more balanced by expanding exports of Pakistan’s advantaged products, and Pakistan should protect Chinese institutions and workers, in order to achieve win-win results and mutual development.

Khan congratulated China on the 70th anniversary of its founding, and said Pakistan's economy is stable and recovering thanks to China's support and assistance.

"That reflects the strong all-weather friendship between the two nations," he said.

He also said that Pakistan is willing to work with China to accelerate the Belt and Road Initiative, and expand trade and investment.

Pakistan highly values the China-Pakistan economic corridor and the construction of the Gwadar Port, he said, and the nation will push forward its cooperation with China in energy, hydroelectricity, nuclear power, railways, and agriculture.

After the meeting, the two leaders witnessed the signing of several bilateral agreements in infrastructure construction, law enforcement and security, culture, education, and the media.

Before the meeting, Premier Li held a ceremony to welcome Imran Khan at the Great Hall of the People.

Wang Yi, state councilor and foreign minister; He Lifeng, vice-chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference and head of the National Development and Reform Commission; and Gu Shengzu, vice-chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, also attended the welcome ceremony.