China and Pakistan have agreed to cement their strategic partnership and deepen comprehensive strategic cooperation in various areas, according to a joint statement issued Thursday during Chinese Premier Li Keqiang's visit to the South Asian nation.
The statement said both sides are satisfied with their relationship, which contributed to peace and stability in the region and acquired growing strategic significance under the current complex and volatile regional and international situation.
To cement their partnership, the two countries decided to deepen practical cooperation in all sectors and strengthen coordination and cooperation on international and regional issues.
China reaffirmed that its relationship with Pakistan is always a priority in its foreign policy and appreciates Pakistan's long-term staunch support on issues concerning China's core interests.
Pakistan said it will continue to pursue this time-tested and all-weather friendship with China.
The two sides regard the terrorist East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) group as a common threat, and stand united in upholding China's sovereignty and territorial integrity, the statement said.
On economic front, the two nations agreed to link China's strategy to develop its western region with Pakistan's domestic economic development, with a view to translate their political partnership into results of pragmatic economic cooperation.
The two sides have also agreed to carry forward free trade negotiations, deepen energy cooperation, and continue the implementation of currency-swap agreement, among others.
To tap the potential of trade, logistics and flow of personnel between the two sides, China and Pakistan have agreed to enhance interconnectivity and jointly develop a long-term plan for China-Pakistan economic corridor.
To strengthen maritime cooperation, China and Pakistan agreed to build and develop a joint marine research center to tackle the growing non-traditional threats to maritime security and safeguard international sea routes.
On aviation and aerospace, the two sides welcomed the signing of an agreement on cooperation on the Beidou Satellite Navigation System in Pakistan and vowed to make continuous progress in the remote-sensing satellite system project.
To build strong public support for China-Pakistan ties, the two sides agreed on a series of measures to step up people-to-people exchanges, including expanding Chinese language training in Pakistan, opening more Confucius Institutes in the country, and designating 2015 as China-Pakistan Year of Friendly Exchanges.
On defense and security ties, the two sides agreed to further cooperate on defense technology and production, and continue cooperation to jointly combat the "three evil forces" of extremism, terrorism and separatism. China also expressed its appreciation and continued willingness to help Pakistan build up counter-terrorism capacity.
On international and regional affairs, China and Pakistan agreed that all countries in the Asia-Pacific region should make united efforts to tackle global and regional issues, maintain peace and stability, resolve disputes peacefully and promote regional development.
The two sides called for the establishment of an open, transparent, equal and inclusive security and cooperation framework in the Asia-Pacific region, based on the fundamental principles of international law.
The two nations also said they are committed to strengthening the solidarity and cooperation between developing countries and safeguarding their common interests.
As both sides are concerned about the situation in Afghanistan, they agreed that political reconciliation is a key step toward peace and stability in that country, and affirmed their support for the "Afghan-owned, Afghan-led" peace and reconciliation process.
Li arrived here Wednesday for an official visit to Pakistan, the second leg of his first overseas trip as Chinese premier. He has visited India and will travel to Switzerland and Germany.
(Xinhua News Agency May 23, 2013)