China important factor of stability in region: Mamnoon
20 February, 2014
BEIJING: President Mamnoon Hussain said on Wednesday Pakistan believes that China is an important factor of peace and stability in the region.
In a meeting with President of the People's Republic of China Xi Jinping, President Mamnoon reiterated Pakistan's abiding interest in the stability and peace of the region and expressed firm resolve of the democratic government to continue supporting all efforts aimed at bringing peace and stability in the region.
He said that China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, a gigantic development project, would prove a game changer in transforming the region by generating massive trade and economic activities and opening new vistas of progress and prosperity for the people of the two countries.
President Mamnoon's meeting with President Xi Jinping followed delegation level talks at the Great Hall of the Peoples in Beijing. The two leaders discussed a whole gamut of bilateral relations and regional and global issues of mutual interest.
Giving details of the two rounds of talks, the press secretary to the president said that discussions between the two sides focused on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, enhancing connectivity and further cementing trade and investment ties.
In the delegation level talks, President Mamnoon Hussain was assisted by Ahsan Iqbal, minister for planning, development and reforms, Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif, chief minister of Punjab, Syed Tariq Fatemi, minister of state for foreign affairs/special assistant to the prime minister, Miftah Ismail, special assistant to prime minister and chairman Board of Investment and Rana Sanaullah, Punjab law and parliamentary affairs minister.
At the outset of the meeting, President Mamnoon Hussain congratulated the Chinese president and people of China on the Chinese New Lunar Year and expressed his best wishes for a happy and auspicious Year of the Horse.
President Xi Jinping said that President Mamnoon's visit marks yet another important step forward in reinforcing the strategic partnership between the two countries, adding that it would help open up new avenues for bilateral cooperation in all fields.
President Mamnoon said that the government and the people of Pakistan highly value their relations with China which are unparalleled in the contemporary era of inter-state relations, adding that friendship with China was the cornerstone of Pakistan's foreign policy and there is across-the-board political and public agreement on maintaining strong bilateral ties with China.
The two leaders noted with satisfaction that all-weather friendship between Pakistan and China that is based on mutual trust, respect and cooperation transcends the governmental level and has permeated into the level of the people.
The two presidents expressed satisfaction on the current status of bilateral ties; however they urged the need for more consistent efforts on both sides to boost bilateral trade from the current over $12 billion to the level commensurate to the huge trade and investment potential existing between the two countries.
Underscoring the importance of greater connectivity between the two countries and the region at large, the two sides urged for expeditious completion of all the projects of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, which they observed would turn the entire region into a vibrant trade, energy and economic corridor besides boosting Pak-China bilateral trade to new heights.
They expressed hope that the decisions taken during Wednesday's meeting of the Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) would prove instrumental in implementation of the already identified and mutually agreed projects of the Economic Corridor on fast track basis.
Both the leaders agreed on further enhancing bilateral cooperation encompassing all fields including energy, trade and investment, defence, infrastructure development and people-to-people contacts.
Pakistan and China also inked five agreements of bilateral cooperation in the fields of economy and trade, regional connectivity, energy, and people-to-people contacts.
President Mamnoon also had a meeting with Zhang Dejiang, chairman of the Standing Committee of National Peoples' Congress.