Hope to solidify ties under new Chinese leadership



Beijing: As China headed for a leadership change next week, its close ally, Pakistan on Thursday expressed hope that the new Chinese leaders would "solidify" the all weather friendship and continue the close economic and trade cooperation.

Pakistan Foreign Secretary, Jalil Abbas Jilani who came here to take part in the fifth China-Pak strategic dialogue met Chinese Foreign Minister, Yang Jiechi and discussed future direction of the bilateral ties in the context leadership change in China.

"The Foreign Secretary conveyed the best and sincerest wishes of Pakistani leadership to the Chinese leadership, as well as their hope that the incoming Chinese leaders, would further solidify China's relations with Pakistan", APP, the official news agency Pakistan reported.

Appreciating China's "constant support for major infrastructure and development projects in Pakistan", Jilani also hoped that bilateral economic and trade cooperation would continue to flourish.

Jilani also said the new Chinese leadership was well-known to the Pakistani leadership.

It is widely believed that Vice President Xi Jinping will succeed President Hu Jintao in the new leadership change and Vice Premier Li Keqiang would take over from Premier Wen Jiabao. The strategic dialogue covered all areas including military and trade. While the two countries have bilateral trade to the tune of about USD 10 billion, both have a close military relationship covering Army, Air Force and Navy.

China, which has undertaken a number of infrastructure projects in Pakistan including in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, (POK) is committed build a 1000 megawatt nuclear power plant at Karachi in addition to the about two 300 megawatt plants it has built in Punjab province.

The new nuclear plant was expected to materialise after China completed building its own indigenous plant of 1000 megawatts.

Jilani and Yang had a wide-ranging discussion on a variety of important issues that included efforts to bring stability in Afghanistan, making South and the East Asia a peaceful and economically growing region free of disputes, deepening Sino-Pakistan ties, and the reforms at the United Nations Security Council, the APP report said.

PTI