Islamabad: President Xi Jinping today described Pakistan as China’s “dependable” friend and firmly backed its territorial integrity, as he announced long-term support for the cash-strapped country’s economic development.
Addressing a joint sitting of Pakistan’s parliament on the final day of his two-day maiden trip during which he oversaw signing of 51 agreements, Xi stressed that the bilateral ties are based on mutual trust and support.
Xi, also the General-Secretary of ruling Communist party, said China and Pakistan will always move forward together and the Chinese people will always stand together with the Pakistani people.
“During my current visit, President Mamnoon Hussain, PM (Prime Minister Nawaz) Sharif and I jointly agreed to elevate China-Pakistan relations to an all-weather strategic partnership,” Xi said, a day after unveiling USD 46 billion ambitious China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.
The 3,000-km corridor linking China’s far-western region to Pakistan’s south-western Gwadar port on the Arabian Sea through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) is massive project of road, rail, energy schemes, pipelines and investment parks.
Xi lavished praise on Pakistan and said it stood with China from the earliest days of founding of the People’s Republic of China. He said Islamabad stood by Beijing at a time when China stood isolated on the world stage.
He said both countries have tremendous support to each other and stood by each other in times of need.
The two countries should support each other’s core interests, Xi said, noting that China firmly backs Pakistan’s territorial integrity. .
© 2016 State Times Daily Newspaper