Islamabad, October 17, 2012 (PPI-OT): President Asif Ali Zardari Wednesday called for taking Pak- china bilateral trade, investment and defence ties to new heights as the time tested friendship between the two countries has already matured into a comprehensive strategic partnership. “Strengthening and further cementing cooperation with China in all areas is and will remain the key principles guiding Pakistan’s foreign policy”.
This he said during one-on-one and later delegation level meeting with Mr. Li Changchen, Member of Standing Committee of Political Bureau of CPC Central Committee (CPCCC), here at Aiwan-e-Sadr today.
The President said that Pak-China historical relationship that is characterized by mutual trust, respect and cooperation transcends the governmental level and permeates to the level of the people of the two countries.
The President said that the Government and the people of Pakistan highly value their relations with their Chinese brethren and were eager to translate the full potential of this relationship for the mutual benefit of the two countries.
He said that China has become a beacon of hope for the developing countries and is a great source of inspiration. The historical rise of China over the past 63 years is a testimony of the wisdom of its leaders and reflects the genius of its people, the President remarked. Pakistan, he said, rejoices in China’s great success.
The President said that Pak-China friendship was rooted in a shared history and cultural heritage and has stood the test of time. Our relations are multi-dimensional and are without parallel in the contemporary era of inter-state relations, the President remarked.
Briefing about the two rounds of meeting ,Spokesperson to the President, Senator Farhatullah Babar said that Mr. Li Changchen, conveyed the sentiments of top leadership to the President saying that no mater what changes took place at regional and international level, China – Pakistan friendship will not only continue but also grow from strength to strength.
He said the bilateral relationship had transcended into strategic relationship which china treasured most. He remarked that he had brought a message from his leaders and it was China viewed its relations with Pakistan from a strategic and long term perspective.
He said the government and the people of China admired the steadfast manner in which it was fighting militancy and extremism. He said that China recognized and appreciated the huge human and material sacrifices Pakistan had made in the fight against extremism and said that China will continue to support Pakistan in it.
From Chinese side, the meeting was attended by Mr. Wang Jiarui, minister of the international Dept of the CPC Central Committee (IDCPC), Mr. Yuan Guiren, minister of education, Mr. Cai Wu, minister of culture, Mr. Cai Funchao, minister of state administration of Radio, Film and Television, Mr. Liu Binjie minster of general administration of press and publication, Mr. Liu Jian, Chinese ambassador to Pakistan and other members of delegation.
From Pak side, the meeting was attended among others by Ms. Hina Rabbani Khar, Foreign Minister, Mr. Qamar Zaman Kaira, Information Minister, Senator Dr. A. Rehman Malik, Interior Minister, Ms. Samina Khalid Gurki, Minster for national Heritage and integration, Mr. M. Salman Faruqui, Secretary General to the President , Spokesperson to the President, Senator Farhatullah Babar, Senator Syeda Sughra Imam, Malik Asif Hayat, Secretary to the President , Ms. Nargis Sethi , Cabinet Secretary and Mr. Jalil Abbas Jilani, Foreign secretary.
President Zardari said that enhanced mutual interactions, both at the high level as well as people to people contacts, were further adding to the strength of the existing relationship. In this regard the President noted that sixteen high level visits from Pakistan to China during last four years and said that the frequency of high level visits reflected Pakistan’s keen desire to further cement the relationship on one hand and to learn from Chinese experience of growth and progress, on the other.
The Spokesperson said that the President while terming Pak-China friendship as a factor of stability and peace of the region emphasized upon the need to further strengthen this strategic relationship as to cope with the challenges on regional as well as international fronts.
Appreciating Chinese assistance and support to the country, the President said that Pakistan greatly values Chinese support and assistance to it in upholding its territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence. He said that Chinese brethren have always stood by their Pakistani brethren especially whenever any natural calamity has afflicted our people.
The President said that we deeply appreciate invaluable Chinese assistance for our socio-economic development. Indeed, it has been a conscious effort by the leadership of the two countries to put our economic linkages at par with our close political and strategic ties, the President remarked.
He said that Pakistan was eager to enhance its trade relations with China to the maximum possible extent. He said that it was a matter of great satisfaction that our economic and trade relations were following an upward trajectory. However, he emphasized, the two countries need to further expedite efforts to realizing full trade potential by promoting greater business delegations exchanges, investments and facilitating the entrepreneurs.
Mr. Li Changchen said that China will encourage reputed companies to invest in Pakistan, adding that China wanted to expand people to people contacts particularly among the youth and women of the two courtiers and also increase cooperation in the field of education.
The President said that the 2nd Five Year Development Programme on Trade and Economic Cooperation Programme (2012-2016) provides an excellent opportunity and platform to further boost economic cooperation for the mutual benefit of the two countries. In this regard, the President called for early holding of the sessions of the Joint Economic Commission and Economic Cooperation Group.
The President expressed satisfaction over the working of Pak-China Joint Energy Working Group and said that Pakistan appreciates the interest of Chinese solar and wind companies to invest in these sectors and take advantage of the available opportunities.
Discussing cooperation in the projects of infrastructure development, the President thanked the Chinese leadership for providing assistance in the up-gradation of Karakoram Highway.
Spokesperson said that discussing regional situation, the President reiterated Pakistan’s abiding interest in the stability and peace of the region and expressed the resolve to continue supporting every effort aimed at bringing peace and stability to the region. He said that Pakistan would continue to support an Afghan-led, Afghan-driven and Afghan-owned reconciliation process in Afghanistan.
The President said that Pakistan-China-Afghanistan trilateral dialogue is an important mechanism that can contribute significantly in restoring peace of the neighbouring country.
Mr. Li Changchen appreciated Pakistan’s efforts to improve relations with the US, India, Afghanistan and other countries.
The Spokesperson said that Mr. Li Changchen, on behalf of Communist Party of China invited Chairman PPP Mr. Bilawal Bhutto Zardari to visit China by the end of the year.
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