A senior Chinese official said Thursday that inclusion of Pakistan in Chinese Premier Li Keqiang first foreign visit speaks of the importance China attaches to its multi-faceted relations with Islamabad.
“Premier Li Keqiang has chosen Pakistan as country on his first overseas visit. It shows the importance that the Chiense government attaches to its relations with Pakistan”, said Vice-Foreigh Minister Song Tao here.
Briefing the media on Premier Li four countries visist from May 19-27 that included India, Pakistan, Switzerland and Germany, Song pointed out that Premier Li visit will play an important role in further consolidating our traditional friendship and deepening strategic cooperation between China and Pakistan.
He said that this visit takes place soon after conclusion of general election in Pakistan.
This arrangement illustrates highly mutual trust and special friendship between the two countries, he noted.
During the visit Premier Li Keqiang is going to have talks with Prresident Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Justice (R) Mir Hazar Khan Khoso on issues of mutual concern.
His itinerary also included meeting with leaders of the Pakistani parliament, political parties and military officials, Song said.
Premier Li will also deliver a speech on China-Pakistan relations. Song said that Premier Li will also meet people who had made significant contribution in consolidating China, Pakistan friendship and were engaged with people belonging to various segments of the Pakistani society.
During the visit, the two countries will also sign a number of agreements.
Pakistan, he said is all weather friend and strategic partner of China.
Since the establishment of diplomatic relations sixtytwo years ago, China, Pakistan relations have stood the test of time and in changing international landscape.
China, Pakistan relations have significant examples for good neighbourly friendship.
“We have maintained exchange of high-level frequent visits thus developed high degree of mutual trust, he added.
Our practical cooperation in economy, trade, infrastructure, energy and other areas is deepening; Song said adding that our people to people contacts are also expanding.
Speaking on the occasion Vice Minister of Ministry of Commer Jiang Yaoping said that as far China-Pakistan trade, it has been growing very rapidly in recent years.
He said Pakistan was the first country that recognized China’s market economy status and signed a Free Trade Agreement. Pakistan is China second largest trade partner in south Asia and the biggest destination for investment and a major overseas investment market for various projects.
He said that the two countries have achieved steady progress in developing infrastructure, energy, water resources, agriculture, mineral and telecommunications.
The five-year development programme on trade and economy cooperation between the two countries is making steady progress, he observed.
During Premier Li visit, he said cooperative agreements will be signed by the two sides.
China, he said will also send a trade and investment promotion delegation to Pakistan.