Li Keqiang: China-Pakistan ties always a priority in neighboring diplomacy
China has always regarded its relations with Pakistan as a priority in neighboring diplomacy, said Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, while reiterating China's firm support to Pakistan in defending its sovereignty, territorial integrity, and legitimate rights.
Premier Li made the remarks on Tuesday when meeting with Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan, who is on a two-day visit to China for discussions of the security situation in the region and economic ties with China. Khan is also expected to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Li spoke highly of China-Pakistan relations. As China's all-weather strategic cooperative partner, Li stressed that the bilateral ties, with no strings attached and are not targeted to any third party, are always a priority in China's neighboring diplomacy.
Noting that the relations are sincerely supported by two peoples, Li promised that China will continue to support Pakistan in not only its national development, but also regional and international affairs by helping it play a more active role.
China-Pakistan relations serve both national and regional interests, said Li, calling for joint efforts to strengthen the bilateral ties to a new stage.
Learning that Pakistan has passed its economic hardship, Li said that China is glad to hear that and vowed to offer Pakistan assistance to its best capabilities.
Khan, for his part, attributed Pakistan's stable economic development to China's kind assistance and firm support. The prime minister pledged to expand the scale of trade and investment with China.
Speaking of economic cooperation, the two sides agreed to jointly promote the construction of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and Gwadar port, and beef up the synergy between the Belt & Road Initiative (BRI) and Pakistan's development strategy so as to enhance cooperation in various fields and realize common development.
After the meeting, the two leaders witnessed the signing of over 10 bilateral agreements on infrastructure, law enforcement and security, culture, education, and media.
According to Chinese Foreign Ministry, Khan will also attend the closing ceremony of the Beijing International Horticultural Exhibition on Wednesday.
(Cover: Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (R) shakes hands with Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan during a signing ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, October 8, 2019. /Reuters Photo)