China to support Pakistan for stability, development: Li

Islamabad, May 23 (IANS) The Chinese government will unswervingly stick to its friendly policy toward Pakistan and support the South Asian nation in realising stability and better development, visiting Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said here Thursday.

Li was speaking during a meeting with Pakistani military leaders, including chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Khalid Shameem Wynne, army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, naval chief Admiral Muhammad Asif Sandila and air force chief Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt.

“The Pakistani military is not only an important force in maintaining security and stability in Pakistan, but also a firm supporter of the China-Pakistan friendship,” Xinhua quoted Li as saying.

The friendship between China and Pakistan is unbreakable, thanks to not only the efforts of generations of leaders of both sides and the fervent support of the two peoples, but also the in-depth development of the ties between the two militaries, Li said.

He urged the international community to help Pakistan overcome difficulties and cope with challenges under the premise of respecting its independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity.

As a good neighbour, friend and partner, China pays close attention to the development of situation in Pakistan and respects the development path chosen by the Pakistani people in accordance with their national situations, Li said.

China supports concerned parties in Pakistan to jointly contribute to maintaining political stability, developing economy and improving people’s livelihood in the fundamental interests of the nation, Li said, adding China is willing to provide assistance to Pakistan within its capability.

China would like to deepen military relations, enhance communication in defence and constantly expand cooperation to new fields with Pakistan, Li said.

The Chinese premier also expressed the hope that the Pakistani military will continue to do its utmost to safeguard the security of Chinese staff in Pakistan.

On their part, the Pakistani military leaders said Li’s trip reflected the special friendly relations between Pakistan and China.

They said the Pakistani military is proud to have China as its best friend, and will never forget the staunch support and selfless assistance provided by China.

Safeguarding the security of Chinese agencies and staff in Pakistan has been a divine duty of the Pakistani military, they added.

They said the Pakistani military is willing to work with China to strengthen bilateral communication, expand cooperation and safeguard regional peace and stability so as to push for greater achievements in bilateral relations.

Li flew in on Wednesday from India, the first leg of his ongoing four-nation maiden trip abroad as Chinese premier. He will also travel to Switzerland and Germany.

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