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Chinese premier meets PM Ashraf, assures Pakistan of support

September 11, 2012


Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf. — Photo by AFP/File

TIANJIN, China: China on Tuesday said it completely supported Pakistan on all regional and international issues.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao reiterated the stance of his government of supporting Pakistan’s sovereignty when he met Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf here on the sidelines of World Economic Forum's Annual Meeting of New Champions 2012.

The two leaders reaffirmed their governments' resolve to further strengthen ties in diverse fields particularly trade and defence.

The first official meeting between the two leaders that was scheduled for 25 minutes lasted for 40 minutes.

The two sides noted that Pakistan and China shared similar views on important regional and global issues and would continue to extend support to each other at all levels.

Prime Minister Ashraf and the Chinese premier discussed a whole gamut of issues ranging from bilateral ties, defence cooperation, infrastructure development, energy, agriculture and banking.

The prime minister said Pakistan attached great importance to enhancing economic and trade links with China which included promoting closer collaboration in projects on energy, telecommunication and railways.

The Chinese premier welcomed the prime minister on undertaking his first official visit to China and said it reflected the level of Pak-China friendship and the importance Pakistan gave to China. He conveyed best wishes for President Asif Ali Zardari and for the Pakistani people.

He said China considerd Pakistan its friend and underscored the importance of the time-tested strategic partnership between the two countries.

He expressed appreciation for Pakistan's role in fight against terrorism and extremism and called for greater international recognition of its efforts and sacrifices in this regard.

Both leaders were of the view that the two nations were opposed to terrorism and would continue to cooperate with each other to eliminate the threat.

Prime Minister Ashraf sought investment by Chinese companies in Pakistan's various areas and stressed the need for making efforts to realise the full potential of bilateral trade.

He termed Chinese assistance in carrying out mega projects in Pakistan significant.

The Chinese premier stressed upon the need for a regional approach for resolving regional issues and said it was in the benefit of the people of all countries.

The two sides agreed on exploiting the full potential of the two business communities to boost their economy and trade. They renewed their focus on achieving the target of 15 billion dollar bilateral trade.

It was agreed that China would support the National Bank of Pakistan to launch the financial bonds worth 6.5 billion Renminbi in China.

Prime Minister Ashraf was told that the machinery from China to carry out work at Attabad Lake would reach Pakistan in October.

Finance Minister Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh and Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani assisted the prime minister. China's Vice Foreign minister, Trade Minister and Tianjin's mayor were present.