BEIJING, Jan 5: Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jibao said on Thursday that being a true and steadfast friend, China would continue to support Pakistan’s efforts to safeguard its sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity and maintain its national dignity.
During a meeting with Chief of Army Staff Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani here, Premier Wen also said that his country would support Pakistan’s economic growth.
Gen. Kayani is on a visit to China at the invitation of the People’s Liberation Army.
Gen. Kayani thanked Mr. Wen and the Chinese government and people for their support to Pakistan in its efforts to uphold its sovereignty and territorial integrity as well as foster economic development and social stability.
“Pakistan would never seek confrontation; it would always seek relations on the basis of mutual respect,” he said.
Gen. Kayani expressed the confidence that the resilient people of Pakistan would overcome difficulties.
He said the younger generation of China and Pakistan were now engaging each other to strengthen their all weather friendship.
Development of China Pakistan strategic partnership was the cornerstone of the two countries policies, Gen. Kayani said.
“China will always stand by Pakistan in Difficult times Pakistan will find it to be a reliable partner,” Premier Wen said.
Premier Wen said China and Pakistan supported each other’s interest to protect their core interests. He thanked Pakistan for its people’s consistent stand on Taiwan, Tibet and Xinjiang.
Gen. Kayani said Pakistan’s armed forces would boost cooperation with China and firmly support China’s efforts to maintain its core interests.
Premier Wen said that in view of the complex and evolving regional and global situation, closer and strengthened coordination between the two countries was imperative to meet common challenges.
He said the Chinese government and the PLA would continue to strengthen defence cooperation between the two countries and more frequent military to military exchanges.
He said Pakistani armed forces had made important contributions in boosting the strategic cooperative partnership. He said Pakistan was at the forefront of the fight against terrorism and rendered enormous sacrifices which ought to be duly recognized by the international community.
He applauded Pakistan’s efforts to create an enabling environment for peace, stability, security and economic development.
Premier Wen said China would support Pakistan’s efforts in vital areas of energy, infrastructure and agriculture. In addition, he said, the two countries would continue to fortify the military cooperation.
Gen. Kayani said Pakistan’s objectives was to see a peaceful and stable Afghanistan. “If Afghanistan is peaceful and stable, Pakistan will be the biggest beneficiary,” he said.
Strong Pakistan-China ties, including between armed forces of the two countries , have remained a constant factor for decade despite changes in domestic and international situation.
“We will resolutely work towards further strengthening this relationship,” he said.
Gen. Kayani earlier held talks with Gen. Ma Xiaotian, PLA’s Deputy Chief of General Staff, on a wide range of issues of defence cooperation, joint exercises, training of personnel and defence trade.
He also met China’s Defence Minister Gen. liang Guanglie.