China’s firm policy to deepen Pakistan ties: Wen (Lead)

December 18th, 2010 - 1:01 am ICT by IANS  

Yousuf Raza Gilani Islamabad, Dec 17 (IANS) China and Pakistan are “all-weather cooperation partners” and it is Beijing’s “firm policy” to further cement and deepen strategic ties with Islamabad, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said Friday on his arrival here on a two-day visit. “China and Pakistan are all-weather cooperation partners. Under the complex and fluid international and regional circumstances, it is a firm policy of the Chinese government to further cement and deepen the strategic partnership of cooperation with Pakistan,” Wen said in his arrival statement.

Wen described Pakistan as an “important country in the region” that has made “positive” contributions to peace, stability and development. He said that the visit would help to push forward “bilateral pragmatic cooperation” and lift economic and trade cooperation to a new height.

“The purpose of my visit this time is to solidify friendship, deepen cooperation, support Pakistan’s efforts of post-disaster reconstruction, and ring in, together with Pakistan, the 60th anniversary of China-Pakistan diplomatic relations in 2011,” Wen said.

Wen arrived here after a three-day visit to India.

Later, the two countries signed several agreements and memorandums of understanding (MoUs) on expanding cooperation in the economy, energy, security and technology sectors.

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and Wen Jiabao witnessed the signing of the documents at the Prime Minister House, as the respective ministers of both countries signed the documents, Geo TV reported.

The agreements and MoUs were signed to expand cooperation in the areas of management, training, education and modernisation of railways, among others.

The first MoU on the setting up of cultural centres was signed by Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Chinese Culture Minister Cai Wu.

The second MoU on Pakistan-China road transport cooperation was signed by Pakistan’s Railways Minister Haji Ghulam Ahmad Bilour and Chinese Transport Minister Li Shenglin.

The agreement on economic and technical cooperation, which will see a grant of 200 million yuan from China for flood reconstruction projects, was signed by Pakistan Finance Minister Abdul Hafeez Shaikh and Chinese Minister and China International Trade Representative Gao Hucheng.

Both countries also signed a MoU on cooperation between Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) and Securities Regulatory Commission of China (SRCC). It was signed by SECP commissioner Tahir Mahmood and Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Liu Jian.

Another MoU on setting up of an energy working group between National Energy Administration of China and Pakistan’s petroleum and natural resources ministry was signed by Pakistan’s Petroleum and Natural Resources Secretary Imtiaz Kazi and vice minister and head of China’s National Energy Administration Qian Zhimin.

A government concessional loan agreement on the Safe City Islamabad Project was signed between Pakistan and the EXIM Bank of China.

Two more agreements, including one on providing license for setting up Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) in the country, was signed by the representatives of both countries.

Wen will attend a China-Pakistan business summit and meet Pakistanis who have contributed to the friendship between the two countries.

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