March 01, 2014
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is keen to learn from the Chinese economic and development miracle and benefit from its expertise in diverse areas of defence, energy, industry, agriculture, communications and commerce and trade, President Mamnoon Hussain said on Friday.
Underscoring the importance of greater connectivity between the two countries, the president told Chinese Defence Minister, General Chang Wanquan that the ongoing gigantic project of China-Pakistan Economic corridor would transform the entire region into a vibrant trade, energy and economic corridor besides further boosting Pak-China bilateral trade to new heights.
Expressing satisfaction on the growing Pak-China defence relations, he said Pakistan appreciates the valuable assistance of China in its efforts to achieve self-reliance in defence field.
The President thanked the Chinese government and leadership for its proactive role in socio-economic development and strategic stability of Pakistan.
Appreciating the contributions of Chinese nationals, engineers and workers, for economic development of Pakistan, the President said the Government of Pakistan accords highest priority to the security of Chinese nationals and assured that the government has undertaken all possible steps for their safety and security.
The president said the time-tested friendship between Pakistan and China was solidly anchored on convergence of strategic interests, commonality of views on regional and international issues, high degree of mutual trust, driven by an abiding interest in progress and prosperity of each other and promotion of peace and stability in the region.
Recalling his recent visit to China, the president said he had a very fruitful and productive discussion with the Chinese leadership on a wide range of bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interest and expressed hope that the visit would help further deepen bilateral trade and economic cooperation.
He also conferred the award of Hilal-e-Pakistan upon General Chang Wanquan, State Councilor and Minister for National Defence China, at a special investiture ceremony at the Aiwan-e-Sadr.
The president conferred the award in recognition of his role and meritorious services for further promoting the existing close bonds of friendship, especially defence cooperation between Pakistan and China.
General Chang Wanquan thanked the President and Government of Pakistan for decorating him with the award of Hilal-e-Pakistan and said that strategic partnership between China and Pakistan would continue to further deepen with each passing day.
The Chinese Defense Minister General Chang Wanquan also called on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif at the PM House.
Nawaz said Pakistan deeply values China’s support on issues of its national security and territorial integrity. “Solid foundation of our time-tested and all weather friendship is provided by strong mutual trust, excellent cooperation and convergence of views on regional and global issues,” the Prime Minister said.
He said China and Pakistan enjoy a unique relationship and deeply appreciated the Chinese support for the projects included in the China-Pakistan Economic corridor in the recent Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC).
He said China-Pakistan economic corridor would not only benefit both nations, but transform the region’s economy and dovetail perfectly with the strategy of developing and connecting the South and Central Asian regions of the world.
The Prime Minister said security of Chinese nationals is an utmost priority for Pakistan and the government had taken all possible steps to provide them security.
He expressed his confidence that Pakistan-China cooperation, including the field of defence would continue to grow to the benefit of both the countries.
The Chinese Defence Minister reiterated his government’s support for Pakistan.
Meanhwile, General Chang Wanquan along with his delegation visited Joint Staff Headquarters. Following one-to-one meeting between General Rashad Mahmood, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee and General Chang Wanquan, delegation level talks were held. The issues of defence cooperation and joint military training were discussed during the meeting.
Earlier on his arrival, General Chang Wanquan was received by Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee and was presented guard of honour by a smartly turned out tri-service contingent.