Chinese premier kicks off official visit to Pakistan

ISLAMABAD, Dec. 17 (Xinhua) — Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao started an official visit to Pakistan Friday noon, in a bid to further push forward bilateral pragmatic cooperation and lift economic and trade cooperation to a new high.

“The purpose of my visit this time is to solidify friendship, deepen cooperation, support Pakistan’s efforts of post-disaster reconstruction, and ring in, together with Pakistan, the 60th anniversary of China-Pakistan diplomatic relations in 2011,” Wen said in a written statement released at the airport.

Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and other senior officials welcomed Premier Wen at the airport.

As an important country in the region, Pakistan has made positive contributions to peace, stability and development of the region and the world, said Wen.

“China and Pakistan are all-weather cooperation partners. Under the complex and fluid international and regional circumstances, it is a firm policy of the Chinese government to further cement and deepen the strategic partnership of cooperation with Pakistan,” said Wen.

Wen is expected to hold talks with Gilani and other Pakistani leaders on bilateral cooperation as well as issues of shared interest.

Premier Wen will also attend a China-Pakistan business summit and meet Pakistanis who have contributed to the friendship between the two countries.

China’s participation of Pakistan post-flood reconstruction is one of the main issues of Wen’s visit, said Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Hu Zhengyue.

“We will continue to do what we can to support the Pakistani people,” Hu told a press briefing on Monday concerning Wen’s visit.

China pledged a total of 250 million U.S. dollars to Pakistan after the floods hit Pakistan in July and August.

Pakistan is the second leg of Wen’s two-nation South Asia trip. He started his official visit to India on Wednesday.


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