Pak, Chinese leadership to cooperate in trade, defence


Oct 8, 2009
Pak, Chinese leadership to cooperate in trade, defence
* Ambassador to China says PM’s visit to bolster bilateral ties trade, defence and energy sectors

BEIJING: Pakistan and China will explore opportunities to strengthen bilateral strategic cooperation in various areas including the trade, defence and energy sectors.

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani will arrive in Beijing today (Monday) on a four-day visit to China, Pakistan’s Ambassador Masood Khan told a press conference on Sunday.

Khan said the main purpose of Gilani’s was to attend the meeting of the Council of Heads of Government of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).

He told reporters that in his meetings with Chinese President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao, Gilani would discuss the possibilities of strengthening bilateral cooperation in the areas of defence, investment, trade and people-to-people relations.

Both sides will examine ways to minimise the adverse impact of the international financial crisis and would also coordinate their positions on UN reforms, climate change and international trade.

Khan said Gilani would also meet Wu Bangguo, chairman of China’s National People's Congress.

He would address the SCO Council of Heads of Government and attend a banquet hosted by Premier Wen Jiabao in honour of the delegates attending the meeting.

Founded in 2001, SCO is a regional organisation focusing on security, confidence building, and economic development. Its members are China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, with Tajikistan. Pakistan, India, Iran and Mongolia have observer status.

Pakistan is an integral part of the geographical footprints of the SCO neighbourhood.

Khan said the country would “like to be a full member”, emphasising that Gilani's participation in the SCO meeting in Beijing would give an opportunity to share the challenges faced by Pakistan in the form of militancy and terrorism and for bringing stability to the region.

He said Gilani would also highlight that regional peace and social stability were prerequisite and essential for economic development and collective prosperity of the region.

The ambassador said Pakistan supported the ‘one-China policy’ and would continue to oppose any attempts to undermine China's unity and territorial integrity.

In the recent past, Pakistan had supported China's policy towards ethnic harmony and social stability in Xinjiang, Ambassador Khan observed.

China, he said, had always expressed its full support for Pakistan's efforts to preserve its sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity and expressed appreciation for Pakistan's role in promoting peace and stability in the region.

“Pakistan and China oppose the forces of terrorism, extremism and separatism and cooperate with each other to eliminate these threats," Khan said.

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