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Musharraf: Stronger economic relations to come
( 2003-11-04 21:08) (Xinhua)

Pervez Musharraf, President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, said here Tuesday that China has emerged as a positive force for economic stability and progress in Asia and the world at large.

At a 40-minute speech at prestigious Beijing University, President Musharraf looked forward to China's economic engagement in Central and Southwest Asia "similar to its economic and commercial role across the Asia-Pacific".

"China, which has provided assurance and a safety net to the Southeast Asian economies when these were shaken by the financial crises of 1997 and 1998, could help accelerate development and bring about economic integration within Asia," he said.

President Musharraf expressed his views on China's economic development and the friendship between Pakistan and China.

China's growing political and economic strength and its increasingly important role on the global stage augured well for Asia and the world, he said, adding that China's political weight had been critical for initiating the Six Party Talks on the Korean nuclear issue and averting a serious crisis in the region.

Musharraf also spoke highly of China's positive role in international affairs: "As a permanent member of the (United Nations) Security Council, China has an important bearing on issues of international peace and security."

President Musharraf reviewed the long-standing friendship, saying, "We will be able to carry forward this time-tested friendship to future generations.

"We must set ambitious targets and pursue our cooperation in economic, commercial and technological fields with utmost vigor."

Speaking of terrorism, Musharraf said, "We clearly don't want to leave the heritage of living in a dangerous place for future generations."

He said that operations against Al-Qaeda and the Taliban, Hamas and Hizbullah would not resolve terrorism, but were of short term value.

"Hopelessness, powerlessness, desperation, injustice and non- resolution of long-standing political conflicts, poverty and lack of education added, are the root causes of terrorism," he said.

He suggested the strategy of "enlightened moderation", which was two-pronged, aiming at Muslims rejecting extremism and opting for socio-economic emancipation, while also allowing the world, especially the West, to help resolve political disputes with justice.

President Musharraf concluded his speech with "Long live Pakistan-China friendship" in Chinese, and answered questions from Beijing University students.

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