RAWALPINDI: Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif's visit to China has opened new doors of cooperation between the two countries.

The army chief held important meetings with the Chinese leadership, Director General Inter-Services Public Relations Major General Asim Bajwa tweeted.

Meng Jianzhu, member of Politburo — Communist Party's second highest council — termed China's relationship with Pakistan "beyond individuals" adding that "Pakistan's concern is China's concern".

Chinese State Leader Yu Zhengsheng termed Pakistan as the "most reliable friend" and said just as Pakistan has always stood by China, Chinese government and its people will stand with Pakistan and help it in all respects.

Foreign Minister of China, Wang Yi, said Pakistan is China's "irreplaceable all weather friend" and that both the countries are part of a community of shared destiny.

General Raheel thanked the Chinese leadership for its support to Pakistan and said, "The world must understand the evolving environment ... greater international focus, coordination [is required] to logically conclude the fight [against] terrorism."

COAS Raheel Sharif had met his counterpart Gen Qi Jianguo at the headquarters of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) on Sunday. Gen Sharif held extensive talks with General Qi during which views were exchanged on full range of regional security and defence-related issues.

They agreed to enhance long-term defence collaboration and strengthen security and counter-terrorism cooperation and intelligence sharing and training exchanges.

The army chief had also called on Vice Chairman of the Central Military Commission, Gen Fan Changlong on Sunday.

According to ISPR, Gen Fan described Pakistan and China as strategic cooperation partners and “iron brothers”.

Expressing solidarity with the people and the armed forces of Pakistan, Gen Fan had praised the success of Operation Zarb-i-Azb which he termed “decisive, bold and a hard blow for terrorists”.

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