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Consolidating China-Pakistan friendship

By Du Youkang ( China Daily ) Updated: 2013-05-24 07:15:54

Premier Li Keqiang's visit to Pakistan, during his first foreign trip as China's premier and shortly after the Pakistani general election returned Nawaz Sharif for an unprecedented third term in power, fully reflects the new Chinese leadership's emphasis on China-Pakistan relations, as well as the two sides' common aspiration to consolidate and develop their friendship. The visit is of great significance for the two countries, as it marks the beginning of a new stage in their comprehensive strategic partnership and mutually beneficial cooperation.

During their frequent high-level visits in recent years, leaders of China and Pakistan have exchanged views on bilateral relations and international and regional issues of common concern in an in-depth and timely manner and built up a level of strategic mutual trust that is rare in today's international relations.

Bilateral trade has also seen important progress. China is Pakistan's largest trading partner, while Pakistan is not only China's second-largest trading partner in South Asia, it is also one of the largest overseas project contracting markets for Chinese enterprises, with a cumulative contract value of more than $25.2 billion. In 2012, the bilateral trade volume was more than $12 billion for the first time, up 17.6 percent year-on-year, while the accumulated Chinese investment in Pakistan totaled $2.1 billion last year. The two sides have launched or confirmed more than 450 projects related to agriculture, water conservancy, electric power, machinery, chemicals, textiles, pharmaceuticals, aerospace, biotechnology, computers, the environment, energy, oceans, earthquakes, mapping, the peaceful use of atomic energy, information and other fields. These projects are further promoting scientific and technological exchanges and cooperation between the two countries.

Consolidating China-Pakistan friendship

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