Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif (L) talks with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (R) as they prepare to inspect Chinese honour guards during a welcoming ceremony outside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on July 5,2013. —AFP Photo
Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif (L) talks with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (R) as they prepare to inspect Chinese honour guards during a welcoming ceremony outside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on July 5,2013. —AFP Photo
Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif (R) and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (L) inspect Chinese honour guards during a welcoming ceremony outside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on July 5,2013.—AFP Photo
Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif (R) and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (L) inspect Chinese honour guards during a welcoming ceremony outside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on July 5,2013.—AFP Photo
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (3rd R) gestures near Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif (C) and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif (2nd L) before a signing ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on July 5, 2013. —AFP Photo
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (3rd R) gestures near Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif (C) and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif (2nd L) before a signing ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on July 5, 2013. —AFP Photo
Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif inspects the guard of honour with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (L) during a welcome ceremony outside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, July 5, 2013. — Photo by Reuters
Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif inspects the guard of honour with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (L) during a welcome ceremony outside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, July 5, 2013. — Photo by Reuters

BEIJING: Pakistan and China Friday resolved to promote the policies aimed at advancing the cause of peace, co- operation and harmony creating a win-win situation in the region.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif told his Chinese counterpart Li Keqiang that their countries' relationship was “sweeter than honey”, during the five-day visit to Beijing with economic ties at the top of the agenda.

Pakistan and China are close diplomatic and military allies and Sharif, who is on his first foreign trip since his May election, is looking to secure infrastructure projects to tackle a chronic energy crisis and economic malaise in his country.

At the Great Hall of the People in the Chinese capital, Sharif said his welcome “reminds me of the saying, our friendship is higher than the Himalayas and deeper than the deepest sea in the world, and sweeter than honey”.

Li told him: “I greatly appreciate your great warmth and deep affection for the people of China.”

The Chinese premier was the first foreign leader to visit Pakistan after Sharif's victory at the polls.

In a joint statement issued after the meeting between the two premiers, both leaders reaffirmed their commitment to pursue people-centric policies to “mitigate poverty, promote social and economic development and diminish the roots of conflict”.

During the meeting, the Pakistani prime minister reaffirmed the commitment of his government to promote and deepen the bilateral strategic cooperation between China and Pakistan.

Pakistan reiterated that friendship with China was the cornerstone of its foreign policy, enjoying a national consensus and appreciated the support and assistance of the Chinese government and people for Pakistan's sovereignty and socio-economic development.

“Pakistan will continue to adhere to its one-China policy, oppose Taiwan and Tibet's independence and support China's efforts in combating the “Three Evils” of extremism, terrorism and separatism. We regard ETIM as our common threat and stand united in combating this menace,” said Sharif.

The Chinese side agreed to support the efforts of the Government of Pakistan in addressing its urgent energy needs.

The two sides agreed to hold the third meeting of the China- Pakistan Joint Energy Working Group at an early date and deepen cooperation in conventional energy, renewable energy and other sources of energy. China stressed that it will continue to encourage and support Chinese enterprises' investment in Pakistan.

It was also agreed that both sides will support enterprises of the two countries in conducting cooperation on establishment of industrial zones in Gwadar.

Beijing has been involved with the upgrade of the Karakoram Highway as part of a proposed economic corridor between the two countries.

Earlier this year China took control of Pakistan's Gwadar port, giving it access to the Arabian Sea and Strait of Hormuz, a gateway for a third of the world's traded oil.

A series of agreements were signed by ministers of the two countries as Li and Sharif held talks.

Among these was a “long term plan” over the economic corridor, and agreements on technology, polio prevention and solar housing.

An agreement was also signed for cooperation between Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) and the Communist Party of China (CPC).

The two countries also agreed a $44 million project to erect a fibre optic cable from the China-Pakistan border to Rawalpindi, which aims to give Pakistan more connectivity to international networks.

China-Pakistan trade last year reached $12 billion and is targeted to rise to $15 billion in the next two to three years.

On Thursday Sharif held talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping, amid concerns in his country over weak growth, inflation and power cuts of up to 20 hours a day.

Xi, who referred to Sharif as an old friend and a good brother, said strengthening strategic cooperation with Islamabad was a priority for China's diplomacy, the state-run broadcaster China Central Television reported.

Sharif said his country welcomed Chinese investment and would work to create a friendly environment for it.

The threat of terrorism is also expected to figure during Sharif's discussions.


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Comments (31) Closed




imtiaz ahmed
Jul 05, 2013 10:32am

It is a good step. We should develop good relations with China and give them security.

aqabdulaziz
Jul 05, 2013 11:13am

Sweeter than honey.......but no free money.

Arun
Jul 05, 2013 12:21pm

It seems like Pakistan's leaders jump from one "sponsor" to another - first the US and now China. Relationships are not based on principle, but on convenience - I need you, hence you are my best friend. Any surprise why Pakistan's friendships sour? China hasn't, but it is only a matter of time. The common denominator is always Pakistan is a tool being used by the foreign power. Can the leaders rise above this?

Rashid Sultan
Jul 05, 2013 02:40pm

Beware of sugary honey laced words and flowery compliments. The proof of the pudding is in delivery. There is always a price to pay, friends or no friends.

rashid6111@yahoo.com
Jul 05, 2013 04:06pm

in the all world best friend forever Pakistan and china

Kashif Khan
Jul 05, 2013 04:55pm

How can a head of state sign an agreement between two political parties? This shows that Nawaz Sharif is using state visits to better his own political party only.

Agha Ata
Jul 05, 2013 05:33pm

The strategic position of Pakistan is extremely important in case of war between China and the USA. That is remotely possible and not likely in near future. Yet, that is the bases of Pak-China friendship. Countries can be very prudent in such matters. Pakistan wishes, and even tries to take advantage of this situation but not playing its cards very wisely; for them (Pakistan) important party in this equation is India and Kashmir.

Dr Wequar
Jul 05, 2013 05:48pm

It augurs well for both our countries. It remains to be seen how soon can any of these projects take off to fruition. But first we have to deal with the menace of various types of terrorism, within and without followed by economic recovery process.

karamba
Jul 05, 2013 09:13pm

@Arun: Ahem, as far as I can recall, Russia was India's best friend until America started using India as a satellite for keeping China in check. Jumping the band wagon for one's one conveniance is not limited to Pakistan nor is the issue of being used by a foreign power it seems. However a certain class of Indian hypocrisy and smugnesss seems to be drooling no end without a bib able to soak it up.

Ajaya K Dutt
Jul 05, 2013 09:18pm

reminds me of "Hindi Chini Bhai Bhai".

Of course, many from the perspective of sweeter than honey friend, fault was of Hindu country.

So what if there is a de-facto ban on celebrating Id in Higher than mountain friend.

BRR
Jul 05, 2013 09:40pm

60 years on Pakistan is still running from pillar(USA) to post (China), like a destitute.

rashid6111@yahoo.com
Jul 05, 2013 09:57pm

@Arun: seems like India leaders jump from one "sponsor" to another - first the US russia , israel and many more. Relationships are not based on principle, but on convenience - I need you, hence you are my best friend. Any surprise why India friendships sour?

PShailendra
Jul 05, 2013 10:03pm

Jehanzeb khan
Jul 05, 2013 10:48pm

@Arun: What about India's sharp turn from being a non-aligned country to the close ally of the US. Pakistan and India should have had great relationships that they wouldn't need any third country to balance the power. You guys want all the support from the Europe and the US but when Pakistan get a little from any country you guys cry foul, what a sense of judgement.

Nadeem
Jul 05, 2013 11:07pm

@Arun: Pakistan was the one who first accepted NEW CHINA. We were the one who backed up China for UN member ship. We were the first foreign delegation to China, Pakistan was the first county that Chinese delegation first visted. Now come to the second part of your comments, we hadn't change our friendship with US, they are the one who moved to India because of large consumer market. Actually India is the one who took U-Turn, from USSR/Russia to US. Any comments about changing your friend?

Saad
Jul 05, 2013 11:12pm

begging elsewhere. When will u return people's wealth to Pakistan Mr. PM

Raja
Jul 05, 2013 11:15pm

Lets cut to the chase. Here is the deal. China spend x $ bn most of which will end up in foreign bank accounts belonging to politicians, army men and their associates. In return China will get transport link for the next 100 years so they can get their goods to the rest of the world much cheaper and importantly quicket. China will also help itself to natural resources that Pakistan under values. The average pakistani will see very little benefit despite the nation being in a unique position to negotiate a fantastic deal. The current government will fill their boots and be ousted by the military within 5 to 6 years. Hope the future prospects for pakistan were better I just cant see it. We live in hope.

Ali
Jul 05, 2013 11:57pm

@Kashif Khan: this is the norm. All countries heads signs such deals and then the details finalized later on by the experts. Disclaimer: I am not a Sharif supporter.

Paracha
Jul 05, 2013 11:55pm

@Arun: Although your comments are not true for Pakistan China Freindship, China has been a Pakistan's friend since the creation of Pakistan but comments are very true for your own Country INDIA, USSR was the SPONSOR of INDIA and now USA is ? So what principal is that ?, turning 360 degrees from Communists friends to Capitalist friends. USA is sponsoring INDIA to counter China and INDIA is a USA colony now, can you deny this fact. You can see what is wrong with China and Pakistan's friendship from a distance but can't see what is going on in your own backyard ? as usal another Indian hypocrat.

kam
Jul 06, 2013 12:08am

@Kashif Khan: Sharif is NOT head of state lol. He is head of government and also head of his party.

Dr. Khalid
Jul 06, 2013 12:18am

Out of curiosity, why is CM of Punjab present in every important meeting presided by PM and not the other CMs of the other three provinces? Where is the one federation equality and national harmony part? No wonder people are talking about separation.

Caz
Jul 06, 2013 01:42am

@Arun: Pakistan is a neo- colonial state. It is not a sovereign state and its venal military led ruling elites can only thrive by serving some master or other. Pakistan really has no basis to exist. It existential crises can never be resolved unless pakistan bites the bullet of its miscreation and comes to reason.

DesiMan
Jul 06, 2013 01:59am

@Arun: The pot calling the kettle black,get rid of all the soviet/Russian technology that form the bases of most of your military/industrial capabilities and then come give us lecture about about sponsors. Over 18 billion from u.s.s.r, England gave 200 and U.S.A gave 100 million aid to Super Rich India last year.India has to repay $172 billion debt by March 2014.

alfe
Jul 06, 2013 02:06am

Can someone please explain to me why the punjab chief minister is accompanying the prime minister and why is he in the forefront of foreign visits?

gangadin
Jul 06, 2013 02:15am

I don't see Beijing issuing any statement about drone strikes as violation of sovere

sajjad khan
Jul 06, 2013 02:16am

Good move Nawaz, Trust and enjoy the friendship with those you have tried and tested not those who find every opportunity to hurt you,while calling it a friendship or neighborly relation. China and Chinese are most humble, hardworking and trust-able people.

gangadin
Jul 06, 2013 02:23am

I don't see Beijing issuing any statement about the drone strikes violating sovereignty of Pakistan. Drone strikes are a declaration of war on Pakistan. You can sugar coat it as much as you want but they are violating the air space and indiscriminately killing Pakistani citizens.

Hussain Jan
Jul 06, 2013 04:11am

@Arun:

coming from indian, this is rather peculiar

Raj
Jul 06, 2013 06:22am

He should wear Pakistani clothes when he travels overseas. He is representing his country.

Z I Ahmed
Jul 06, 2013 02:03pm

@Arun: It is just like: India got divorce from Russia when it got weak, and married to USA.

RK
Jul 06, 2013 06:50pm

sweeter than honey! becareful with the diabetic its a slow poison dude.