China and Pakistan yesterday reaffirmed their traditional friendship and growing economic ties with a raft of agreements.
The signing of 13 deals, witnessed by Premier Wen Jiabao and visiting Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz, cover a wide range of fields including economic and technical collaboration, mutual legal assistance, taxation, space science, education and the construction of cross-border cable system.
The two countries also inked another 15 deals witnessed by ministers from both countries including the construction of a new airport in Gwadar, Pakistan and an automobile plant in the country.
During the meeting, Wen said the Sino-Pakistani relationship has entered a new stage, reiterating China's commitment to the policy of deepening mutually beneficial cooperation with its "all-weather friend."
According to the consensus reached by the two leaders, China and Pakistan will actively implement the bilateral free trade agreement and the five-year development program on economic cooperation to speed up talks on promoting trade in services.
The two sides also agreed to expand people-to-people exchanges and strengthen cooperation in jointly fighting "East Turkistan" terrorist forces and cross-border crime.
Last November, President Hu Jintao became the first Chinese president to visit Pakistan in a decade and the two countries agreed to boost strategic partnership in all areas.
Aziz, on his second visit to China in three years, will also visit Chengdu, capital of Southwest China's Sichuan Province, where he will inaugurate a Pakistani consulate general and visit the air design complex where Pakistan and China are collaborating on the manufacture of JF-17 fighter jets.
He will also visit Haikou, capital of South China's Hainan Province, to attend the annual Boao Forum for Asia on Saturday.
(China Daily April 18, 2007)