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President Hu Proposes 5 Steps to Enhance Sino-Pakistan Ties
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Chinese President Hu Jintao on Friday proposed five steps to further promote Sino-Pakistan relations, covering strategic cooperation, win-win business ties, cultural and social exchanges, cooperation in international affairs and exchanges among civilization. 



Hu made the proposal in a keynote speech titled "Carrying on Traditional Friendship and Deepening All-round Cooperation" at Islamabad Convention Center during his state visit to Pakistan.


"Ever since our diplomatic relations began in 1951, we have enjoyed mutual understanding, respect, trust and support, and our friendship and cooperation have flourished," Hu said.


Strategic Cooperation


First, he advised the two countries to deepen strategic cooperation and consolidate traditional friendship.


"China and Pakistan enjoy a time-tested, all-weather friendship," Hu said, adding that this was a shared asset and it should be cherished and continuously enhanced.


The two sides should maintain close contacts between leaders, expand exchanges and cooperation between the governments, legislatures, political parties and civic organizations, and maintain regular consultation and coordination on major issues of mutual concern through bilateral mechanisms in strategic, economic, technological, security and defense, the president said.


Win-win Business Ties


With a market of a combined population of close to 1.5 billion and complementary economies, China and Pakistan enjoyed a huge potential for business cooperation, Hu said.


The free trade agreement signed by China and Pakistan this morning marked the success in the negotiations on establishing a free trade area, he said, adding that it would go a long way in upgrading bilateral business ties.


China would further strengthen win-win cooperation with Pakistan in key areas such as energy and resources development, information technology, infrastructure and agriculture, he pledged.


Cultural and Social Exchanges


The Chinese president suggested that the two countries expand cultural and social exchanges and strengthen the basis of their friendship.


The Chinese government would invite 500 young people from Pakistan to visit China in the next five years and would provide more scholarships to Pakistani students, Hu said.


He added that the Chinese government supported increased exchanges and cooperation with Pakistan in the areas of culture, health, education, tourism, sports and press, as well as between academic institutions.


Cooperation in International Affairs 


Hu advised the two nations to strengthen cooperation in international affairs and uphold common interests.


He expressed China's willingness to continue to work with Pakistan to uphold the purposes and principles of the U.N. Charter and the collective interests of developing countries and promote democracy in international relations.


Exchanges Among Civilizations


Hu proposed that the two sides promote exchanges among civilizations to enhance world harmony.


The world was a colorful and diversified one, he said, adding that differences in culture, traditions, social systems, values and modes of development should be recognized.


One should not make irresponsible remarks about the internal affairs of other countries simply because of differences among countries, he added.


China would work with Pakistan to promote harmony and progress among civilizations and uphold diversity in the world and in developing models, and to make joint efforts to build a harmonious world of enduring peace and common prosperity, he pledged.


At the end of the speech, Hu underlined China's commitment to peaceful development and an opening-up strategy for win-win progress, saying China would remain a champion of peace, development and cooperation and would continue to pursue an independent foreign policy of peace.


"China's development is peaceful, open and cooperative in nature. It will not pose a threat to anyone," he said, adding that quite the contrary, China's development would create more opportunities for world development.


Hu arrived in Islamabad on Thursday for a state visit at Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf's invitation. Pakistan is the last leg of Hu's four-nation Asia tour, which has already taken him to Vietnam, Laos and India.


The visit also coincides with the 55th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Pakistan.


(Xinhua News Agency November 25, 2006)

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