Pakistan looks forward to Chinese premier's visit

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Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said on Wednesday that his country is looking forward to the arrival of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, who will visit Pakistan from Dec. 17 to 19 at his invitation.

"We are anxiously waiting for his visit, and it's not only about government-to-government contacts with China, it's also people-to-people contacts," Gilani said in an interview with Xinhua.

During his three-day official visit to Pakistan, Wen will meet with President Asif Ali Zardari and Gilani to discuss a wide range of topics.

Gilani said Wen's visit will focus on the strategic partnership, economic and trade cooperation and people-to-people contacts.

Gilani said his father visited China in 1956 and met with Chairman Mao Zedong and Premier Zhou Enlai, and he himself had visited China many times.

In Islamabad, there are some landmark buildings which reflect the friendship between the two countries, including Zhou Enlai Avenue, Jinnah Sports Complex and the newly-built Pakistan-China Friendship Center. They are the symbols of the unity and bond between China and Pakistan and will always be remembered, Gilani said.

The prime minister said Pakistan is grateful to China for its prompt assistance to the flood-hit people in Pakistan. In the aftermath of the unprecedented flooding in Pakistan in July, China pledged 250 million U.S. dollars in aid, besides sending three medical teams and a helicopter rescue team.

The year 2011 will mark the 60th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between the two neighbors. Pakistan has declared it as the Pakistan-China Friendship Year, during which a number of events will be organized, said the prime minister.

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