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I attach great importance to China-Pakistan relations: Chinese President

03 November, 2018

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BEIJING: Chinese President Xi Jinping Friday reiterated his country’s firm commitment to strengthen Pakistan-China strategic cooperative partnership for a shared future and assured his country’s steadfast support to Pakistan on all issues of core interest.

At a meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Xi told Imran Khan, who is on his first official visit to China, that he highly valued the two country’s relations. “I attach great importance to China-Pakistan relations and am willing to work together with the prime minister to strengthen the China-Pakistan all-weather strategic partnership and build a new era of China-Pakistan destiny,” he said.

President Xi said relations between China and Pakistan had already been growing and now those had touched new heights. “These relations have not only benefited the two all-weather strategic partners but the region and world,” he said.

Imran Khan said Pakistan stood by China in safeguarding mutual interests, shared ideals and promoting multilateralism. He thanked the Chinese president, government and the people of China for their warm sentiments towards Pakistan. He congratulated them on the 40th anniversary of reform and opening-up, which has led to China’s meteoric rise.

Imran Khan said friendship with China was the cornerstone of Pakistan’s foreign policy and expressed the earnest desire of his government to further consolidate this relationship. He emphasized that President Xi’s vision of connectivity – Belt and Road, and its flagship project CPEC – would translate into a win-win for shared prosperity in the region and beyond.

Imran Khan said he had followed President Xi as a statesman during his political carrier spanning over 22 years. The prime minister said he had watched other world leaders but the people of Pakistan were very impressed with the way China had progressed under President Xi.

Imran Khan lauded President Xi and other Chinese leaders for bringing down poverty in their country by bringing out 700 million people from poverty in 30 years. He said no other nation in the human history had been able to achieve this success.

He said that the main goal of his party and the government was to take people of Pakistan out of poverty as half of the population in the country was either on or under the poverty line. “China is the one country from which we can learn,” he said.

Prime Minister Imran Khan said the way leadership of President Xi had tackled corruption was appreciable. “No other nation has held so many powerful people accountable for corruption in the last five years,” he said, and added that his government and party wanted to learn from China in this area also because white collar crime was very difficult to detect. “It is easy to catch low level criminals but it is much more challenging to expose white collar crime which actually devastates a country,” he added.

The two leaders discussed regional and global issues of mutual interest and agreed to work closely towards overcoming growing political-economic uncertainties. They also reviewed and held in-depth discussions on Pakistan-China bilateral relations. They reviewed the progress on CPEC, expressed satisfaction on its achievements, and vowed for its early completion to maximize the benefits for Pakistan.

The prime minister extended an invitation to President Xi Jinping to visit Pakistan, which was accepted.

During the meeting, Prime Minister Imran Khan thanked President Xi for extending warm hospitality to him and his delegation in China.

Earlier, President Xi warmly welcomed Prime Minister Imran Khan and his delegation upon their arrival at the Great Hall of the People. President Xi also congratulated Prime Minister Imran Khan on his election and assumption of the office.

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Finance Minister Asad Umar, Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, Minister for Planning Makhdoom Khusro Bukhtiar, Advisor to Prime Minister on Commerce Abdul Razzak Dawood, Chief Minister of Balochistan Jam Kamal Khan and Pakistan’s Ambassador to China Masood Khalid were also present during the meeting.

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