Pakistan, China to jointly fight terror, widen defence cooperation

April 17th, 2009 - 11:45 pm ICT by IANS  

Islamabad, April 17 (IANS) Pakistan and China Friday vowed to jointly fight terrorism and to expand their cooperation in the defence, economic and energy sectors.
Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, at their meeting in the southern Chinese city of Sanya, discussed the entire range of strategic and economic cooperation, as also matters relating to agriculture, power generation and finance, APP news agency reported.

The two leaders are in Sanya for the April 17-19 annual meeting of the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA).

Zardari will be the keynote speaker at the BFA plenary on the theme “Asia: Managing Beyond Crisis,” and will hold bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the conference.

The Zardari-Wen meeting took place soon after the president arrived in Sanya from Tokyo, where international donors Friday pledged $5.28 billion in aid to Pakistan over the next two years to stabilise its economy even as it continues to play a role in the war against terror.

Noting that Pakistan and China enjoy an exemplary relationship with a high degree of mutual trust, understanding and convergence of views on bilateral, regional and international issues, Zardari said there was a need to translate their deep strategic partnership into a robust trade and investment relationship.

In this context, he said the current level of trade between the two countries at $5-6 billion did not reflect their deep ties and needed to be quadrupled over the next few years.

On his part, Wen pointed out Zardari’s third visit to China since assuming his office reflected the close ties between the two countries. The meeting between the two leaders was their second since the president assumed office six months ago.

“We have a deep-rooted friendship that has stood the test of time,” Pakistan’s Minister of State for Information Sumsam Ali Shah Bukhari told reporters after the Zardari-Wen meeting.

During the BFA meeting, the delegates, who include several world leaders, will debate and discuss the impact of the global economic crisis on Asia and how the region can effectively weather these.

Initiated in 1998 by former Philippines president Fidel Ramos, former Australian prime minister Bob Hawke and former Japanese prime minister Morihiro Hosokawa, BFA was formally inaugurated in Feb 2001.

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