Islamabad, May 22 (IANS) Li Keqiang left India for Pakistan Wednesday, the second stop of his first overseas trip as China’s premier. Xinhua described the Islamabad-Beijing ties as an “all-weather strategic partnership”.
It is worth noting that Li is the first foreign leader to visit Pakistan in the wake of the country’s general elections, Xinhua said in a commentary.
The two “firsts” testified to the “all-weather strategic partnership” between China and Pakistan, which was cherished and hailed by generations of leaders and peoples of both sides, it added.
Despite differences in ideology, religion, culture and social system, the bilateral ties have withstood various tests and vicissitudes of international situations since China and Pakistan established diplomatic relations in 1951, thanks to the high level of mutual trust, equality and cooperation, the commentary said.
It stressed that time-tested friendship, described by some as “higher than the mountains and deeper than the oceans”, is not just a bunch of empty words.
Politically, the two have always been a staunch supporter for each other on issues concerning their core interests. Pakistan firmly supports China’s position on Taiwan, Tibet, Xinjiang and human rights. China fully respects the Pakistani people’s choice of development path.
“In addition, the neighbours have customized their high-level contact by establishing an annual meeting mechanism between their leaders and regular dialogue between their foreign ministers to facilitate and boost their cooperation on regional and international affairs.
“Militarily, China eyes pragmatic and effective cooperation with Pakistan, which is in the front line of the fight against international terrorism.
“The military exchanges are not directed against any third party and contribute to peace and stability in both the region and the whole world,” it said.
The commentary noted that economic ties between China and Pakistan have been strengthened.
In recent years, bilateral trade has kept growing by more than 20 percent annually in spite of global economic slowdown, yielding great dividends for the people in the two countries.
“…China and Pakistan can always count on each other for sincere and selfless support and assistance. China has taken an active part in the rescue and relief work and reconstruction after massive floods hit Pakistan, while the Pakistanis have done alike for the Chinese,” it said.
The Xinhua commentary observed that the world is undergoing profound and complex changes, and “it is more imperative for China and Pakistan to strengthen the strategic coordination and cooperation”.
Premier Li’s visit is expected to consolidate friendship and enhance cooperation between the two countries, it added.