China to boost all-round strategic ties with all-weather friend Pakistan: VP Wang

Wang, a member of the Politburo of the Central Committee of China’s ruling Communist Party, is among the country’s top leaders.

Irshad Salim — China is ready to enhance all-round strategic cooperation and economic ties with its “all weather” ally Pakistan, Vice Premier Wang Yang said today as he attended the country’s 70th Independence Day celebrations in capital Islamabad.

Wang, a member of the Politburo of the Central Committee of China’s ruling Communist Party, is among the country’s top leaders.

Addressing the Independence Day ceremony as the ‘chief guest’, he said China stands with Pakistan in its efforts to achieve progress and development, saying his country will continue to assist Pakistan to preserve its independence and sovereignty.

“We have forged an all-weather friendship that is higher than mountains, deeper than oceans, stronger than steel and sweeter than honey, and engaged in all-round cooperation, setting a shining example of friendly state-to-state relations, he said, with Pakistan President Mamnoon Hussain and the new Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi by his side.

He recalled that both countries had helped each other in the hour of need.

“We will never forget that after the earthquake in Schichuan province, Pakistan was the first country to send aid via helicopters to the affected areas.”

He said Pakistan has made great sacrifices in the fight against terrorism in recent years and has worked to establish peace in the region, adding that China would support Pakistan’s efforts to pursue the fight against terrorism as per its national interest.

Wang said, “China sees Pakistan as an important partner in the Belt and Road Initiative,” referring to the pet project of Chinese President Xi Jinping.

He said the USD 62 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would enhance Pakistan’s capacity for independent development and deliver tangible benefits to the people along the route and all the people in Pakistan.

India has opposed the CPEC as it traverses through Pakistan-administered Kashmir.

Wang praised Sino-Pakistani ties, saying, “What we have between China and Pakistan is a friendship based on shared aspirations and tested in adversity. It will not only last a lifetime, but also be passed on from generation to generation.

“No matter how the international environment may evolve and how China may grow, we will always be a good neighbor, a close friend, a trusted partner and a true brother for Pakistan,” the senior Chinese leader said, amidst the standoff between Indian and Chinese troops in the Doklam area near Bhutan.

Wang is accompanying a high-level Chinese delegation and expected to sign a few bilateral agreements. He is also expected to inaugurate projects related to the CPEC – a part of the One Belt, One Road (OBOR) initiative.

He also noted that over the past seven decades, the Pakistani people have “resolutely defended their national sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity against hegemony, power politics and external interference,” achieving success in safeguarding the country’s core interests and national dignity.

Pakistan President Mamnoon Hussain while expressing concern over the Indian incursions into the Chinese territory, said Pakistan fully supported the stance of China.

Talking to Vice Premier of China Wang Yang at the President House on Monday, he appreciated China for its adept handling of the issue and reiterated that Pakistan stood by it on the issues of Tibet, Sinkiang and South China Sea, a statement from the President House said.

He was also appreciative of the Chinese role in bringing peace and stability to Afghanistan and hoped it would bring positive results and the issue would be resolved at the earliest, adding that that Pakistan would also continue to work along with China for eliminating terrorism in the region.

The highest flag in South Asia and 8th highest in the world – was hoisted at the Indo-Pak Border at Wagah on Sunday night to mark the 71st Independence Day of the country.

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