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UPDATED: April 20, 2015
Xi Expects Substantial Progress in Advancing Economic Corridor during Pakistan Trip

Chinese President Xi Jinping called for advancing cooperation with Pakistan in various areas, including a general framework for bilateral cooperation and a bilateral economic corridor.

He made the appeal in a signed article published Sunday by Pakistani press on the eve of his state visit to Pakistan.

"I look forward to working with Pakistani leaders during the visit to explore the general framework for bilateral cooperation, make substantial progress in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and practical cooperation in other fields and push for the furtherance of bilateral ties at a higher level," wrote Xi.

Pakistan is the first stop of Xi's first overseas trip this year. The Chinese president is to visit the country on Monday and Tuesday before attending the Bandung Conference in Indonesia.

During his visit, Xi will meet with his Pakistani counterpart, Mamnoon Hussain, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and other Pakistani leaders for in-depth exchange of views on bilateral relations and issues of common interest.

"This will be my first trip to Pakistan, but I feel as if I am going to visit the home of my own brother," Xi said.

China and Pakistan need to align development strategies more closely to realize the dreams of the two peoples, he said.

"We need to enhance strategic coordination, deepen practical cooperation and work together for common development. We will build the China-Pakistan community of common destiny and set a fine example for such efforts by China and its neighboring countries."

The two countries need to align economic and trade strategies more closely to deepen economic integration, said the Chinese president.

He gave particular importance to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, which is located where the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road meet.

"We need to form a '1+4' cooperation structure with the Economic Corridor at the center and the Gwardar Port, energy, infrastructure and industrial cooperation being the four key area to drive development across Pakistan and deliver tangible benefits to its people."

In the article he also highlighted the need to boost security cooperation, intensify people-to-people and cultural exchanges and coordinate diplomatic strategies between the two countries.

(Xinhua News Agency April 19, 2015)

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