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Xi Jinping address to the joint session of Parliament

21 April, 2015

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ISLAMABAD: President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping in a historic address to the joint session of Parliament today 21,April,2015 hailed Pakistan and China's long-standing ties, saying Islamabad stood by Beijing at a time when it stood isolated on the world stage.

Jinping began his address by extending warm greetings and best wishes to the "brotherly people of Pakistan" on behalf of the 1.3 billion people of China.

Pakistan and China’s struggles have brought their hearts and minds together," he said, as lawmakers applauded.

He said Beijing and Islamabad have been of tremendous support to one another, saying both countries have stood by each other in times of need. He also referred to the assistance offered by the two countries to one another in the events of natural disasters.

"Pakistan is the first foreign country that I visit this year and [it is my] first visit to your country, but Pakistan is not at all unfamiliar to me," he said. "It has made tremendous efforts and endured enormous sacrifice."

He also lauded Islamabad's anti-terror efforts, saying Pakistan had shown great character and courage in the face of adversity. "Pakistan has stood on the frontline in the international fight against terrorism," said Jinping.

President Jinping said he and his colleagues have been overwhelmed with the warm welcome extended to them by Pakistan. "During my current visit, President Mamnoon Hussain, PM Sharif and I jointly agreed to elevate China-Pakistan relations to an all-weather strategic partnership," he said.

Jinping arrived at the Parliament House on Tuesday 20,April,2015 where he addressed a joint session of the National Assembly (NA) and the Senate on the second and last day of his visit to Pakistan.

An address to parliamentarians has been a feature of all visits to the country by Chinese presidents and prime ministers and it was the fourth such event. However, Mr Xi was the first Chinese president to address a joint sitting of parliament.

Regarded as a historic visit, Jinping's trip to Pakistan is being viewed as one of game-changing proportions with the region’s developing geo-strategic landscape. It comes at a time when Tehran and the west have successfully managed a deal over Iran’s nuclear programme and as Islamabad treads a tricky terrain over its position on the conflict in Yemen.

Ties with New Delhi have not been able to overcome the snags that developed in recent few months and relations with the United States have been relatively lukewarm.

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