Pakistani president meets Chinese state councilor

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Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari held a meeting with visiting Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo in Islamabad on Saturday.

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari (1st R) meets with Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo (1st L) in Isalamabad Dec. 24, 2011. [Xinhua]

During the meeting, Dai first conveyed to Zardari the warm greetings and good wishes of Chinese President Hu Jintao.

Zardari said that the friendship deeply rooted in the hearts of the Pakistani and Chinese people has grown ever stronger despite the domestic and international changes over the past 60 years.

China is an all-weather friend of Pakistan and has provided tremendous help for Pakistan's national development and economic construction and the Pakistani government and people will never forget this, he said.

The president said that friendship with China is the cornerstone of Pakistan's external strategy and Pakistan is ready to further provide firm support for China on all issues concerning its core interests and is willing to work together with the Chinese side for promoting the traditional friendship between the two countries, deepening the mutually beneficial and practical cooperation, strengthening the coordination and cooperation on the global and regional issues and bringing the all-round strategic partnership between the two countries to a new height.

Dai said that the 60th anniversary of China-Pakistan diplomatic relations has made us more reminiscent about the pioneers and pushers of the friendly and cooperative relationship between the two countries and we cherish the memory of and feel grateful for all those who have dedicated themselves and made contributions to the development of the China-Pakistan relations.

He said that one very important reason for such a good development of the China-Pakistan relations over the last few decades is that both sides have always handled the relations with each other by adhering to the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence and other norms guiding international relations.

The Chinese side feels grateful for the precious support given by the Pakistani side to China over a long time on the issues concerning Taiwan, Tibet and Xinjiang and will continue, as it has always done so, to firmly support Pakistan for its efforts to uphold the national independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, he said.

He expressed the belief that with the efforts on both sides the China-Pakistan relations will surely grow stronger based on the solid foundations laid in the past.

Dai said that peace, cooperation and development are still the main trends of today's world.

China supports Pakistan in developing friendly relations with other countries on the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit and it also supports Pakistan in maintaining a safe and stable environment both at home and abroad as well as its efforts to develop its economy, he added.

Zardari on Saturday also held a special investiture ceremony during which he conferred Hilal-i-Pakistan award on Dai and hosted a banquet in the honor of the visiting Chinese delegation headed by Dai who arrived here on Friday as a representative of President Hu to celebrate the 60th anniversary of China-Pakistan diplomatic relations and the close of China-Pakistan Friendship Year.

Earlier on Saturday morning, Dai also met with Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Wynne and Chief of Army Staff General Kayani and exchanged views over China-Pakistan relations, Afghanistan issue and other international and regional issues of mutual concern.

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