‘Strategic concerns, long-term perspective key to Pak-China ties’

Pakistan and China should work closely to promote pragmatic cooperation in all fields, so as to take the strategic partnership to a new high, Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Liu Jian said here on Tuesday.

He was addressing the inaugural session of a two-day seminar on ‘Pakistan-China Relations 2011: Year of Friendship’, organised here by the Institute of Strategic Studies (ISS).“We should, as always, look at the Pak-China relationship from a strategic height and long-term perspective and cherish and carry on our all-weather friendship,” he said.

The Chinese ambassador said both countries, despite their differences in terms of history, culture, social system and ideology, always looked at and handled the bilateral relationship from the overall strategic situation.

He said China had been consistently extending firm support to Pakistan for its righteous cause in safeguarding sovereignty, territorial integrity and national security.Highlighting Pakistan’s efforts to promote bilateral relations, he said Pakistan had also provided China with valuable support on issues related to China’s core interests, such as Taiwan, Tibet, human rights, combating ETIM and other terrorist forces.

He said the economic and trade ties between China and Pakistan were growing and the two countries had enhanced close cooperation on programmes such as hydropower stations, ports, roads, energy exploration and others.

Referring to the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games held in Beijing, he said the audience only rose to cheer three delegations upon their entry and these delegations were from China, Chinese Taipei and Pakistan.

Liu Jian said the two sides maintained close communication and coordination on various major issues such as the UN reforms, climate change and food and energy security and were committed to strengthening solidarity and cooperation with the vast majority of developing countries to safeguard their interests in the globalisation process.

“The business concerns of two countries signed 20 commercial contracts valued at more than $10 billion showcasing the huge potential for bilateral economic and trade cooperation,” he said.

Speaking on the occasion, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Nawabzada Malik Amad Khan said Pakistan and China had built, in the contemporary period, a magnificent edifice of confidence and trust, friendship and cooperation on this great historical trajectory.

He said the bilateral friendly relations could be attributed to physical proximity, absolute convergence of interests, common roots of historical linkages and the fabled Silk Route that served as a conduit for commerce, idea and knowledge.

“The two countries have pledged to increase their bilateral trade to $15 billion by 2015. More than 120 Chinese companies and 13,000 Chinese workers are working in Pakistan on projects ranging from mining, energy and manufacturing to infrastructure development,” he said.

ISS Director General Tanvir Ahmad Khan said right from the beginning, the architects of Pakistan-China friendship had captured its essence in eloquent metaphors that have got embedded in the shared conversations of the two people.

“There are only a few precedents in world history when an emerging Great Power has worked asselflessly as China in strengthening world peace and in lending a helping hand to nations, as in Africa, which were in danger of being permanently marginalised.”

‘Strategic concerns, long-term perspective key to Pak-China ties’.

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