Ties with Pakistan priority in neighbouring diplomacy: Li Keqiang

Imran Khan and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang

BEIJING, Oct 8 (APP): Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Tuesday reiterated China’s firm support to Pakistan in defending its sovereignty, territorial integrity and legitimate rights, saying his country had always regarded its relations with Pakistan as a priority in neighbouring diplomacy.

During his meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan here at Great Hall of the People, he said China and Pakistan were all-weather strategic cooperative partners and stressed that the bilateral ties, with no strings attached and not targeted to any third party, were always a priority in China’s neighbouring diplomacy.

Li noted that the relations between the two countries were sincerely supported by the two peoples. China would continue to support Pakistan in not only its national development, but also regional and international affairs by helping it play a more active role, he added.

Premier Li called for joint efforts to strengthen the bilateral ties to a new stage as the strategic cooperative partnership between the two countries served both national and regional interests.

He also expressed satisfaction over the economic situation in Pakistan and vowed to offer it assistance.

Prime Minister Imran Khan emphasized that expeditious completion of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects was the foremost priority of his government as it was pivotal to accelerating Pakistan’s economic development and regional prosperity.

Premier Li was apprised of the actions undertaken recently to fast-track CPEC projects and to push the development momentum in Gwadar.

Extending felicitations on the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, the prime minister underscored that the All-Weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership between Pakistan and China served the fundamental interests of the two countries and peoples, and contributed to peace, development and stability in the region.

The two sides exchanged views on deepening bilateral trade and explored ways of increasing Pakistan’s exports to China.

Both the leaders agreed that the implementation of the second phase of China-Pakistan FTA would lead to more trade, economic and investment opportunities between the two countries.

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