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China, Pakistan Vow to Strengthen Ties
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Chinese and Pakistani presidents agreed on Friday the two countries will strengthen strategic partnership by enhancing mutual trust, expanding exchanges and intensifying reciprocal cooperation.


High-level visits and frequent contacts between their leaders on bilateral and multilateral occasions will help enhance political trust and promote cooperation in diverse fields, said Chinese President Hu Jintao during a meeting with his Pakistani counterpart Pervez Musharraf in Shanghai.


Hu proposed China and Pakistan speed up their joint study on a five-year plan for economic and trade cooperation and reach a Sino-Pakistani free trade deal at an early date.


It is also necessary to speed up reconstruction of Pakistan's quake-hit areas and reach timely agreements on the renovation of the Karakoram Highway and a number of projects with aid from China, including the building of schools, hospitals and an earthquake monitoring network in Pakistan's quake-ravaged areas, said Hu.


He also proposed closer cooperation in the security sector -- both traditional and untraditional-- and implementation of existing documents signed between the two sides.


Echoing Hu's proposals on closer ties, Musharraf said more exchanges and cooperation in political, trade and economic sectors between his country and China have brought tangible benefits to the two countries and their peoples.


Musharraf said Pakistan is willing to make concerted efforts with China to add new vitality to bilateral relations and continually push forward their strategic partnership.


This year marks the 55th anniversary of China-Pakistan diplomatic relations. "We are good neighbors, good friends and good partners," Hu said, adding that their friendship is all-weather and cooperation all-round.


Musharraf said the Pakistani-Chinese friendship has withstood the tests of time and his country is confident in the bilateral relations with China.


Musharraf is in Shanghai to attend Thursday's annual summit meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, in which Pakistan holds observer status.


(Xinhua News Agency June 16, 2006)

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