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Hu Urges Pakistan to Protect Chinese Citizens

Chinese President Hu Jintao on Friday expressed the hope that Pakistan takes all necessary measures to beef up the protection of Chinese citizens there after a well-publicized hostage crisis earlier this month ended in the death of a Chinese.

Two Chinese engineers were held hostage in Pakistan's restive South Waziristan Tribal Agency bordering Afghanistan on Oct. 9. One was killed and the other injured in a rescue raid by Pakistani military forces on Oct. 14.


In a meeting with Chaudhry Amir Hussain, speaker of the Pakistani National Assembly, Hu said he appreciated Pakistan's efforts to rescue the Chinese hostage and to help deal with remaining problems. The Chinese government, however, remains very worried about its citizens in Pakistan.


Hussain thanked the Chinese engineers for their participation in Pakistan's economic construction, saying Pakistani would spare no effort and take every possible measure to guarantee the safety of Chinese citizens.


Hu said the relations between China and Pakistan, along with the changes in international and domestic situations, have developed soundly since the two countries forged diplomatic ties 55 years ago.


The two countries reached consensus on developing bilateral relations in the new century during the China tour by Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf last November, Hu said. "China- Pakistani friendship sets an example for countries with different social systems and cultural backgrounds," he said.


Citing increasing mutually-beneficial cooperation in various fields, Hu said China values bilateral traditional friendship and persists in enhancing neighborly friendship between the two countries.


Hussain said the two countries have deepened friendly exchanges at various levels under the guidance of the joint declaration signed by the two heads of state.


Both the Pakistani ruling party and opposition party attach great importance to the friendship with China, said Hussain.


(Xinhua News Agency October 30, 2004)


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