Chinese, Pakistani leaders stress friendship, cooperation

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, November 8, 2014
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Chinese President Xi Jinping and Pakistani Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif met here Saturday, saying the two countries will continue to support each other and strengthen cooperation.

China will continue to support Pakistan in developing economy and maintaining stability, said Xi, who described China and Pakistan as "iron friends" and all-weather partners of strategic cooperation.

"Iron friends" in Chinese mean trustworthy friends whose friendship is as solid as iron. Some Chinese netizens have coined the phrase of "Iron Paks" to refer to Pakistanis.

China is ready to work closer with Pakistan on building the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, founding the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and advancing the construction of the Silk Road economic belt and the 21st-century maritime Silk Road, Xi told Sharif, who is in Beijing to attend a dialogue Saturday for strengthening partnership on connectivity during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meetings.

China hopes Pakistan will continue to take all effective measures to ensure the safety of Chinese people and institutions in Pakistan, Xi said.

Meanwhile, China is willing to work with Pakistan in promoting the peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan and supports Pakistan in improving relations with India, he said.

Sharif pledged his country will firmly back China's stance on all major issues, especially on those involving China's core interests, describing the strategic cooperation with China a cornerstone for Pakistan's diplomatic policies.

He said the two nations signed a series of cooperation agreements during his visit, which will help Pakistan solve energy problems and sustain economic growth.

Pakistan will strengthen cooperation with China in building infrastructure, cracking down on terrorist forces such as the East Turkistan Islamic Movement, and maintaining regional stability, Sharif said.

Pakistani people earnestly look forward to a state visit by Xi, just like "family relatives calling upon each other," he told Xi.

Xi responded that he is ready to pay a visit as soon as possible.

The two countries have maintained frequent high-level visits in recent years. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang visited Pakistan in May 2013, followed by a visit by Sharif to China in July 2013, when he also met Xi. Endi

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