China eyes closer ties with Pakistan

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Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan and China’s Premier Li Keqiang attend a signing ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China on November 3, 2018. Reuters

BEIJING (Xinhua) – Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has pledged to strengthen the China-Pakistan all-weather strategic cooperative partnership and build a closer community with a shared future between the two countries.

Mr Li made the remarks here when holding talks with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, who is paying an official visit to China and will attend the first China International Import Expo in Shanghai.

China and Pakistan are good neighbours, good friends and good partners, Mr Li said, adding that the traditional friendship between the two countries is deep-rooted.

He stressed that China and Pakistan, as all-weather strategic cooperative partners, have a high level of political mutual trust and close cooperation in various fields, firmly supporting each other on matters that concern their core interests.

During Mr Khan’s visit to China, the two sides will issue a joint statement to send an important signal to the world that China and Pakistan are committed to promoting a better and faster development of bilateral ties, according to Mr Li.

On the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), Mr Li said that CPEC projects have been meticulously examined, conform to commercial principles and are economically feasible.

“China is willing to continue working with Pakistan to accelerate the construction of the CPEC in accordance with the principle of openness and transparency, in order to benefit both peoples,” he said.

Mr Li also promised to expand the imports of and market access for quality products from Pakistan, and strengthen bilateral cooperation in fields including finance, agriculture and fisheries.

For his part, Mr Khan said with the continuous deepening of the all-weather strategic cooperative partnership, the relations between the two countries at all levels are becoming stronger.

He said the CPEC has become a reality and is being fully implemented. Pakistan views the CPEC as a great opportunity for development, benefiting the Pakistani people and promoting Pakistan’s economic and social advancements.

Pakistan will continue to promote CPEC construction and protect the safety of CPEC projects and Chinese staff, said Mr Khan.

After the talks, the two leaders witnessed the signing of more than 10 documents on cooperation in areas including science research, justice, poverty reduction, health and customs.

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