Premier Li Keqiang (L) and Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari meet the press in Islamabad, Pakistan, May 22, 2013.[Photo by Pang Xinglei/Xinhua]
ISLAMABAD -- The relationship between China and Pakistan is unbreakable, and the two neighbors are intent on deepening their strategic cooperation, visiting Premier Li Keqiang said here on May 22.
Jointly meeting the press with Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari, Li said the inclusion of Pakistan in his first foreign trip as premier manifests the great importance the new Chinese leadership attaches to the bilateral relationship.
Noting that Pakistan has just held parliamentary elections and a new government is yet to be formed, Li said he came to the South Asian country at a special moment.
Thus the visit fully demonstrates that no matter how the circumstances change, the relationship between China and Pakistan is unbreakable, said the Chinese premier.
China-Pakistan friendship, an eternal treasure of both peoples, will transcend the changes of the times and be full of vigor and ever-growing, Li added.
The ongoing visit, he said, is mainly aimed at further consolidating the traditional friendship between the two nations and deepening bilateral strategic cooperation.
During the talks with Zardari and Interim Prime Minister Mir Hazar Khan Khoso, the two sides reached important consensus on firming up China-Pakistan comprehensive strategic cooperation, he said.
The two countries, he said, agreed to link China’s strategies of expanding domestic demand and developing its west more closely with Pakistan’s economic development, so as to translate their high-level political relations into concrete results of practical cooperation.
They also decided to promote connectivity and build a China-Pakistan economic corridor, which will be of strategic values to the development of the two countries and the region at large, he added.
Despite the profound changes in global and regional situations, Li said, China is ready to join hands with Pakistan to tackle challenges, pursue common development and contribute to regional stability and prosperity. ‘ For his part, Zardari said Li’s visit is very fruitful and will inject new impetus into Pakistan’s socioeconomic development and open a new chapter in Pakistan-China friendship.
Calling Pakistan the second homeland of the Chinese people, the president said his country was, is and will always be China’s all-weather friend.
Pakistan, he said, is willing to make joint efforts with China to build a better future for the two countries, for South Asia and for the entire world.
Prior to the press event, Li and Zardari witnessed the signing of bilateral cooperation documents covering trade, infrastructure, eduction and other areas.
Li flew in from India, the first leg of his ongoing maiden trip abroad as premier, which will also take him to Switzerland and Germany.