|Pakistani Prime Minister Gilani Meets with Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo|
On December 23, 2011, Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani met with visiting Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo who arrived here as a representative of Chinese President Hu Jintao to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between the two countries.
During the meeting, the Chinese state councilor first conveyed to Pakistani Prime Minister Gilani the warm greetings and good wishes from Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao. Dai said that the Chinese government will continue to be dedicated to the development of the strategic cooperative partnership between China and Pakistan and this set policy will remain unchanged no matter what happens in the world. He said that China firmly supports Pakistan for upholding its national sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and national dignity, maintaining its national stability, focusing on its economic development, improving the life of its people, maintaining and creating a good external environment and playing a greater and positive role in regional affairs. China believes that Pakistan has the wisdom and ability to properly handle the relations with the counties concerned and well protect its own interests, he added.
Dai stated that the international situation and the external environment for both countries are undergoing significant changes. The two countries should strengthen the strategic communication and coordination under the changing environment, deepen the practical cooperation in all fields including infrastructure, agriculture reconstruction and energy, and expand people-to-people and cultural exchanges and security cooperation. The international community should fully recognize the significant roles and the enormous sacrifices made by Pakistan in the international campaign against terrorism and continue to render strong support for Pakistan, he said, adding that Pakistan has significant influence on the Afghanistan issue and China is ready to coordinate and cooperate with Pakistan and work together with the international community to help restore the peace and reconstruction in Afghanistan.
On behalf of the Pakistani government and people, Gilani first extended warm welcome to the Chinese State Councilor's visit to Pakistan and his participation in the celebration of the 60th anniversary of Pakistan-China diplomatic relations and the closing ceremony of the Pakistan-China Friendship Year. Gilani said that the Pakistan-China friendship is an all- whether and time-tested strategic partnership based on entire trust and mutual respect. Cooperation with China is the cornerstone of Pakistan's foreign policy and this is a common view of his entire nation, he added. He said that Pakistan and China share complete convergence of views on the bilateral, regional and global issues and Pakistan firmly supports China's core interests and is also grateful for the firm support rendered by China in every critical moment of Pakistan's history and the firm support by China for safeguarding Pakistan's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Gilani also noted that the economies of China and Pakistan are strongly complementary to each other and both sides should continue to make greater efforts in carrying out close cooperation in agriculture, energy, railways, finance and other sectors. He said Pakistan welcomes China's investment in large-scale projects including hydropower stations and hopes that the bilateral trade volume will be raised to 15 billion US dollars in the next three or four years through efforts on both sides.
Following the meeting, Dai and Gilani also attended a signing ceremony of a number of agreements including a currency swap agreement between Bank of China and the State Bank of Pakistan and a supplementary agreement on extension of five-year development program on trade and economic cooperation between the governments of the two countries.