China, Pakistan eye deeper cooperation

China and Pakistan on Saturday vowed to further develop bilateral ties and strengthen cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative.

The pledge was made when Chinese Premier Li Keqiang held talks with visiting Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan in Beijing.

Li hailed the China-Pakistan all-weather strategic cooperative partnership featuring deep political mutual trust and close cooperation across the board.

As the two countries firmly support each other on issues involving their core interests, China has always given high priority to its relations with Pakistan in its foreign policy, according to Li.

Li said that the two sides will issue a joint declaration during Khan’s four-day visit to China, sending the world a message that China and Pakistan are committed to advancing their bilateral relations.

Noting that cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative has made great strides forward this year, Li said China is willing to work with Pakistan to speed up their efforts in building the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in a more open and transparent way and bring benefits to the two peoples.

For his part, Khan said Pakistan values the CPEC as its major development opportunity. It would stand firm to push forward the construction of CPEC and would take effective measures to ensure the security of the project.

China’s top legislator Li Zhanshu also met Khan on Saturday, with the two leaders pledging more concerted efforts to deepen cooperation.

Li, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC), expressed the hope of strengthening the all-weather strategic cooperative partnership and building a closer community with a shared future between the two countries.

The Pakistani prime minister said his country is willing to draw on China’s experience in governing the country, fighting corruption and alleviating poverty.

He also urged the two countries to strengthen exchanges at parliamentary and party levels, and between the two peoples.

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