Zardari discusses agriculture, hydropower in China

February 21st, 2009 - 2:51 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, Feb 21 (DPA) Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari visited central China’s Hubei province Saturday for talks on cooperation in agriculture, hydropower and trade.
Zardari was scheduled to meet Chinese State Councillor Dai Bingguo in the provincial capital Wuhan and tour the giant Three Gorges dam and power project on the Yangtze river, the Chinese foreign ministry said.

He would travel Sunday to the economic hub of Shanghai, where he planned to focus on finance, banking and urban development, Chinese and Pakistani officials said.

Foreign ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said Beijing believed Zardari’s visit would “consolidate the all-weather Sino-Pakistani friendship and deepen all-round cooperation”.

Zardari first visited China as Pakistani president in October.

On his second official trip since taking office last year, he was also expected to seek Chinese assistance to meet the energy crisis faced by his country.

Pakistani foreign ministry spokesperson Abdul Basit said before the trip that several agreements, including one on free trade in services, would be signed during Zardari’s three-day visit.

Annual trade between the two countries has already surpassed $7 billion, with the goal of increasing that to $15 billion by 2011.

China is also the biggest weapons’ supplier to Pakistan and the two countries have jointly developed the JF-17 Thunderjet fighter and K-8 jet trainer aircraft.

During Zardari’s last visit in October, China agreed to help Pakistan build two more nuclear power reactors to increase the country’s electricity production by 680 megawatts.

The two nations also signed economic cooperation agreements covering satellites, trade, mining, agriculture and other sectors in October.

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