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ہفتہ، 18 دسمبر، 2010

China and Pakistan signed $20bn in economic deals

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (L) and his Pakistani counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani hold talks in Islamabad, Pakistan.
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Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and his Pakistani counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani reached extensive consensus in Islamabad Friday on further strengthening their countries' strategic cooperative partnership.
"China and Pakistan were, are and will always be good neighbors, good friends, good partners and good brothers," Wen said during his talks with Gilani, citing the profound friendship between the two peoples and the solid foundation of bilateral ties.
In order to enhance communication and cooperation between the two "all-weather" strategic cooperative partners, Wen added, Beijing is ready to establish an annual conference mechanism between the two countries' leaders and a regular dialogue framework between their foreign ministers.
China appreciates the strong support Pakistan has long been offering on issues concerning China's core interests, and will continue backing Pakistan's efforts in defending national sovereignty, maintaining social stability and achieving independent and sustainable economic development, Wen said.
Noting that Pakistan has made huge sacrifice for and important contributions to the global counterterrorism campaign, the Chinese premier said his country is ready to work together with Pakistan to promote regional peace and stability.
Meanwhile, a great potential is yet to be tapped in the two countries' practical cooperation, Wen stressed, saying that concerted efforts are needed in this regard to bring more benefits to the two peoples.
In a three-point proposal, Wen prioritized the task to help Pakistan rebuild after its nationwide deadly flooding this summer, and pledged to offer assistance in road repair, food production and other relief programs if needed.
Additionally, the two sides should consolidate cooperation in infrastructure construction and expand collaboration in trade, investment and financial sectors, Wen added.
On the cultural sphere, he proposed to designate 2011 as the Year of China-Pakistan Friendship, co-sponsor activities to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations, further broaden people-to-people exchanges, and thus promote mutual understanding and friendship between the two nations.
Gilani, for his part, said that China is Pakistan's "best" and "most-trusted" friend, and that his country sincerely thanks China for its valuable support and generous aid.
He expressed full agreement with Wen's proposal, saying that Pakistan is willing to join hands with China to beef up top-level contacts and strategic cooperation and pass on the two nations' friendship from generation to generation.
The Pakistani side, Gilani said, is confident that with concerted efforts, the Pakistan-China all-weather strategic cooperative partnership will surely reach higher levels.
Following their talks, the two leaders witnessed the signing of a number of documents on bilateral cooperation in economy, energy, finance, culture and other areas.
Wen arrived here from India earlier in the day for a three-day visit to the South Asian country, where he is also scheduled to address a joint session of the Pakistani parliament and inaugurate the China-Pakistan Friendship Center, a project built to facilitate exchanges among the two countries' students, media and academic circles.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (3rd L, back) and his Pakistani counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani (4th L, back) attend a signing ceremony of documents in Islamabad, Pakistan.
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China and Pakistan always stood togather in fighting natural disasters, terrorism or countering separatism.  As decades-long close friends and neighbours, China and Pakistan have always lent a helping hand to each other, especially in times of need, said an article by a prominent Chinese scholar appeared in Saturday’s China Daily.  This year has been no exception. When Pakistan was devastated by one of the worst floods in its history earlier this year, China offered about US $250 million in aid to it. As part of the aid, China sent a team of experts to Pakistan in November to help the country expedite its reconstruction work.


China pledged the aid to Pakistan when it itself needed  financial and human resources to recover from a series of natural disasters. The aid to Pakistan has created many records in the history of China’s aid to and relief work in other countries.
“It is the largest aid given to a country. China sent a  medical relief team abroad for the first time. It was the first use of a Chinese helicopter for relief work abroad. And it was the first time that China organized
a fleet of vehicles to travel through land to another country for relief work”, writes  Du Youkang, Director of the Pakistan Study Center, Fudan University,Shanghai.
The Chinese government has promised as much aid as possible to Pakistan to help it expedite its post-disaster reconstruction. It has urged Chinese companies, too, to help Pakistan with its reconstruction work. The hardworking and courageous people of Pakistan, under the leadership of their government and with international support, have overcome a lot of difficulties on their way to rebuilding their homes and lives.
The experience of enduring similar hardships has helped China and Pakistan develop mutual understanding and mutual trust. As a result of their long-lasting friendship, they have mutual sympathy and enjoy mutual support.
When the catastrophic Wenchuan earthquake struck in May 2008, the heads of Pakistani state and government visited the Chinese embassy in Islamabad in person to express their condolences. Pakistan was also one of the first foreign countries to offer China help.
To help the Chinese government fight the severe floods sweeping across the southern parts of the country in summer last year, the Pakistani government mobilized all its transport planes and reserve tents for use in China. Such selfless acts have made Chinese people feel proud of their friendship with Pakistani people.
China and Pakistan have supported each other for a long time without any precondition or any intention of gaining something in return.
It has been China’s consistent stance to support Pakistan to maintain its sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity. China is also supportive of Pakistan’s big role in promoting regional peace and fighting
terrorism.
Similarly, Pakistan regards its ties with China to be the cornerstone of its foreign policy. It has unwaveringly adhered to the one-China policy and supported China’s peaceful reunification efforts. It has always supported China on issues of Beijing’s core interests.
Since the establishment of bilateral diplomatic ties 59 years ago, China and Pakistan have maintained a peaceful and friendly atmosphere along their border, which has become the most secure boundary for the two countries.
Pakistan has consistently extended support to China in its fight against the “East Turkistan” terrorist organization.
On the international stage, Pakistan has stood steadfastly by China’s side on issues of Taiwan, the Tibet autonomous region, Xinjiang and human rights, as well as in China’s battle against terrorism, separatism and extremism, the so-called three evil forces. Islamabad’s staunch support and help to Beijing to protect its core national interests have helped consolidate their decades-long friendship.
Now, Premier Wen Jiabao’s ongoing visit to Pakistan is expected to take the two countries’ friendship and bilateral strategic cooperative partnership to higher levels.
 
 

China and Pakistan have signed nearly $20bn in economic deals, boosting trade and investment as Wen Jiabao became the first Chinese premier in five years to visit the nuclear-armed state.
Business leaders are scheduled to formalise another $10bn worth of deals on Saturday at Islamabad's Marriott Hotel, where a devastating suicide truck bomb killed 60 people in 2008.
Pakistan, on the front line of the US battle with al-Qaeda and struggling with Taliban fighters in its northwest, considers China its closest foreign ally and treated Wen and a massive business delegation to a red-carpet welcome upon his arrival on Friday.
Qamar Zaman Kaira, Pakistan's information minister, said the countries signed 13 agreements and memorandums of understanding on Friday in fields ranging from energy to railways, from reconstruction to agriculture and culture.
Kaira said China had promised to fund "all the energy projects of Pakistan," which he termed a "major breakthrough". Pakistan suffers from a debilitating energy crisis and produces only 80 per cent of the electricity it needs.
"China will provide assistance in 36 projects in Pakistan to be completed in five years," he said.
"Basically this is a five-year development plan."


China and Pakistan have signed nearly $20bn in economic deals, boosting trade and investment as Wen Jiabao became the first Chinese premier in five years to visit the nuclear-armed state.
Business leaders are scheduled to formalise another $10bn worth of deals on Saturday at Islamabad's Marriott Hotel, where a devastating suicide truck bomb killed 60 people in 2008.
Pakistan, on the front line of the US battle with al-Qaeda and struggling with Taliban fighters in its northwest, considers China its closest foreign ally and treated Wen and a massive business delegation to a red-carpet welcome upon his arrival on Friday.
Qamar Zaman Kaira, Pakistan's information minister, said the countries signed 13 agreements and memorandums of understanding on Friday in fields ranging from energy to railways, from reconstruction to agriculture and culture.
Kaira said China had promised to fund "all the energy projects of Pakistan," which he termed a "major breakthrough". Pakistan suffers from a debilitating energy crisis and produces only 80 per cent of the electricity it needs.
"China will provide assistance in 36 projects in Pakistan to be completed in five years," he said.
"Basically this is a five-year development plan."
Although not specifically mentioned, behind-the-scenes talks are also expected on China building a one-gigawatt nuclear power plant as part of Pakistani plans to produce 8,000 megawatts of electricity by 2025 to make up its energy shortfall.
"Today, in a show of massive strategic and military support, a Chinese leader is visiting a Pakistani military base - something that has not happened too often," Pirzada said. "With some $20bn worth of investment, China is sending a strong message to New Delhi and Washington."
Wen is expected to inaugurate a cultural centre built as a monument to Pakistani-Chinese friendship, and is scheduled to hold talks with the country's opposition leader Nawaz Sharif and senior figures in the military, which depends on China for hardware.
After the business leaders' meeting, Asif Ali Zardari, the Pakistani president, is to host a state banquet, before Wen addresses a special joint session of parliament early on Sunday.
"The outcome of the visit is beyond our expectations. It is an historic day," Masood Khan, Pakistan's ambassador to Beijing, said.
Pakistan depends on China's financial and political clout to offset the perceived threat from rival India and rescue its economy from the doldrums of catastrophic flooding, a severe energy crisis and poor foreign investment.
Pakistan's prime minister has expressed hope that trade will rise to between $15bn and $18bn over the next five years.
China, meanwhile, has been concerned about the threat of fighters infiltrating its territory from Pakistan.
Before arriving in Islamabad, Wen visited India, where he and his 400-strong delegation inked deals that will see bilateral trade double to $100bn a year by 2015.
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