Time-tested Part­ner­ships

Southasia - - 11 -

Prime Min­is­ter Gi­lani re­cently held a meet­ing with Chi­nese State Coun­cilor Dai Bing­guo, dur­ing the lat­ter’s visit to mark 60 years of diplo­matic re­la­tions be­tween China and Pak­istan. Dai noted the sig­nif­i­cant ef­forts and sac­ri­fices made by Pak­istan in the cam­paign against in­ter­na­tional ter­ror­ism and re­it­er­ated China’s sup­port and co­op­er­a­tion with Pak­istan as it aims to in­stall peace and sta­bil­ity in neigh­bor­ing Afghanistan. Dai stated that China strongly sup­ported and re­spected Pak­istan’s na­tional sovereignty, in­de­pen­dence, sta­bil­ity, eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment, im­prov­ing the life of its cit­i­zens, main­tain­ing and cre­at­ing a good ex­ter­nal en­vi­ron­ment and play­ing a greater and pos­i­tive role in re­gional af­fairs.

The Chi­nese State Coun­cilor re­it­er­ated his gov­ern­ment’s ded­i­ca­tion to a strate­gic part­ner­ship be­tween China and Pak­istan and called for en­hanced co­op­er­a­tion in strate­gic com­mu­ni­ca­tion and deep­en­ing prac­ti­cal co­op­er­a­tion in all fields in­clud­ing in­fra­struc­ture, agri­cul­ture re­con­struc­tion and en­ergy, ex­pand­ing peo­ple-to-peo­ple in­ter­ac­tion through cul­tural ex­changes and se­cu­rity co­op­er­a­tion.

Gi­lani de­scribed China as an all-weather friend and noted that mu­tual re­spect and co­op­er­a­tion with China was the cor­ner­stone of Pak­istan’s for­eign pol­icy. Prime Min­is­ter Gi­lani stated that both coun­tries share a con­ver­gence of views on top­ics of bi­lat­eral, re­gional and in­ter­na­tional is­sues and thanked China for its sup­port dur­ing crit­i­cal mo­ments in Pak­istan’s his­tory.

Ef­forts to in­crease eco­nomic co­op­er­a­tion through in­vest­ments in rail­ways and large- scale projects in­clud­ing hy­dropower sta­tions were also dis­cussed. The two over­looked a cur­rency swap agree­ment be­tween the Bank of China and the State Bank of Pak­istan and a sup­ple­men­tary agree­ment de­tail­ing a five-year de­vel­op­ment pro­gram on trade and eco­nomic co­op­er­a­tion be­tween the gov­ern­ments of the two coun­tries.

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