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FM: Li's visit highlights China-Pakistan bond

Updated: 2013-05-24 13:41

ISLAMABAD - Pakistan is China's all-weather strategic cooperation partner, and the bilateral relationship is characterized by the blessing of good-neighborliness, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Thursday.

Wang made the remarks in comments on Premier Li Keqiang's just-concluded visit to the South Asian country, which he said bore rich fruit, charted a new course for bilateral practical cooperation and opened a new chapter in bilateral relations.

During the visit, the diplomat noted, Li quoted for several times one of Pakistan's welcome slogans: "Good neighbors are a blessing."

The sentence, said Wang, precisely summarizes the principal feature of China-Pakistan relations, which is that the two countries are friendly and cooperative good neighbors.

The good-neighborliness between China and Pakistan, he added, is a blessing not only for the two peoples but also for all the nations in the region.

Noting that China has the largest number of neighbors in the world, Wang said Beijing paid enormous efforts to handle its relations with the neighboring nations, an issue that also draws lots of public attention.

China has always been dedicated to fostering good relations with all its neighbors, an unwavering policy that features harmonious coexistence, sincere cooperation and common development, with its relationship with Pakistan making a time-tested example in the process.

A fact of the blessing of China-Pakistan good-neighborliness is that the two countries have steadfastly adhered to a friendly policy toward each other, said the minister.

During his visit, Li reaffirmed Beijing's commitment to its friendly policy toward Pakistan, saying China is willing to be good partners and good brothers with Pakistan. They can trust and rely on each other.

Pakistani leaders, for their part, reiterated on several occasions that the Pakistan-China friendship is the bedrock of Islamabad's foreign policy and that defending China's interests is defending Pakistan's own interests.

It is this firm resolve shared by both countries that has brought China and Pakistan together as good neighbors in the true sense, said the Chinese diplomat.

The blessing of good-neighborliness also means that the China-Pakistan friendship can withstand the changes of time and politics, and remain ever-refreshing and rock-solid, Wang said.

Over the 62 years since the establishment of bilateral diplomatic relations, as Li has pointed out, the seed of China-Pakistan friendship sowed and tended by the two countries' leaders of older generations has grown into a towering tree.

Chinese netizens refer to Pakistan as "Iron Pak," a term testifying to the strength of China-Pakistan friendship, Wang said, noting that the Pakistani people also feel the same as their Chinese siblings.

The Chinese side was deeply touched by the fact that no matter how the  Pakistani politics evolved over the years and how the country's political parties differed with each other, they always shelved their differences to concertedly welcome Chinese friends and chart future course for bilateral cooperation, he added.

The blessing, said the foreign minister, also refers to the most determined understanding and support the two sides have consistently given to each other.

During his visit, Li expressed China's gratitude to the Pakistani government, political parties and military for their understanding of China's policies, and their support for China's efforts to safeguard its core interests.

Meanwhile, Wang noted, the Chinese government and people have also stood alongside Pakistan during its challenging times, helping the Pakistani people safeguard their fundamental and long-term interests.

The China-Pakistan relationship, he added, is a time-honored brotherly bond forged against adversity and rooted in good faith, and will be carried on from generation to generation.

Li flew to Switzerland on Thursday, after wrapping up his visits to India and Pakistan, to continue his four-nation maiden overseas trip as premier, which will also take him to Germany.

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