China and Pakistan signed a treaty for friendship and good-neighborly relations in Islamabad Tuesday evening, looking back the sound bilateral relations over the past 50 years, and outlining where it will go.
Visiting Premier Wen Jiabao and Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz signed the treaty after their talks.
"It is a historical document with great practical sense," said Kong Quan, the Foreign Ministry spokesman.
Pakistan is the first leg of Wen's eight-day official visit to South Asia, which will also take him to Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and India. He held talks with Aziz soon after he arrived in Islamabad Tuesday afternoon.
Wen told Aziz that China and Pakistan have always supported and understood each other, and the all-weathered relationship is time-tested. Furthering the relationship is the common tasks of the two countries, he added.
Wen put forward five-point proposal: to enhance the strategic and cooperative partnership according to the treaty for friendship, cooperation and good-neighborly relations; to expand economic and trade cooperation as well as the cooperation on resources, finance and agriculture; to sign an agreement on fighting "three vices," namely, terrorism, splittism, and extremism; to encourage the people-to-people contact and exchanges on culture, education and youth; and to promote the coordination in the international and regional issues for peace, stability and prosperity.
Aziz said deepening the strategic and cooperative partnership with China has long been the foundation of Pakistan's foreign policy, adding that "Pakistan-China relations are time-tested, and will be upgraded to a new and dynamic stage."
He praised the signing of the treaty for friendship, cooperation and good-neighborly relations, noting the two countries have agreed on the "early-harvest proposal," which is the first step to establish a free trade area and gives a new horizon for economic and trade cooperation between Pakistan and China.
The two sides also signed more than 10 documents on cracking down on the "three vices," economic and trade cooperation, and other issues.
The two prime ministers also met with the press after the signing ceremony.
(Xinhua News Agency April 6, 2005)