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Sino-Pak pledge to fight the '3 evils'
( 2003-11-04 00:22) (China Daily)

The leaders of China and Pakistan pledged to battle separatist Muslims while inking economic deals aimed at boosting trade ties.

In his first meeting with Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf since taking office, Chinese President Hu Jintao said both nations must battle the "three forces" - extremism, ethnic separatism and terrorism.

And Hu called on the two nations to step up their fight against transnational crime and drug smuggling.

Pakistan stood resolutely against terrorism and did not allow anti-China forces - including ethnic Uygurs seeking independence for the northwestern Xinjiang region - to use Pakistan as a base, China Central Television quoted Musharraf as saying.

Small numbers of separatist Muslims from Xinjiang have reportedly trained in al Qaeda camps in Pakistan.

Musharraf's visit comes on the heels of joint naval exercises between Pakistan and China off the coast of Shanghai late last month. Those exercises were China's first with a foreign navy.

China's Foreign Ministry said the visit would help strengthen ties with Pakistan, a long-standing ally and friend.

"You are an old friend of the Chinese people, and for many years you have worked for the development of our friendship and co-operation," Hu told Musharraf.

The Pakistani people value their traditional friendship with Chinese people and are inspired by China's modernization process, said Musharraf.

To boost Sino-Pakistani ties, Hu suggested the two nations maintain frequent high-level official visits and promote friendly exchanges between government departments and people from all walks of life.

Musharraf said economic and trade co-operation with China have resulted in numerous achievements, but added there is still vast development potential to be tapped between the two nations.

Pakistan would welcome more Chinese investment in its infrastructure, mine and resources projects, Musharraf said. Pakistan is also to further enhance co-operation and exchanges with China in tourism, culture, education and other fields.

Hu said the two nations should maintain exchanges and co-ordination in coping with international and regional affairs.

China will continue to support the reconciliation process between Pakistan and India, and will play a constructive role in pushing forward regional peace, safety and stability in South Asia.

After their meeting, the two leaders inked the joint declaration of development on bilateral co-operation and appeared at a signing ceremony for a series of bilateral co-operative documents.

Agreements signed yesterday included tariff cuts and an expansion of Chinese mining operations in Pakistan.

Before yesterday's meeting with Hu the Pakistani president attended the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2003, which opened in South China's Hainan on Sunday.

Musharraf is to speak at Peking University today and meet other senior leaders, including Premier Wen Jiabao.

After visiting China, he is to make a two-day stop in the Republic of Korea.

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