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UPDATED: July 5, 2013
China, Pakistan Vow to Cement Cooperation

China and Pakistan on Thursday hailed their traditional friendship and pledged to promote their all-weather partnership to a higher level.

China and Pakistan are "good neighbors, friends, partners as well as brothers," Chinese President Xi Jinping said when conferring with visiting Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif Thursday in Beijing.

He said the all-weather strategic cooperation were treasures to both countries and the foundation for the future development of the bilateral relations.

The partnership with Pakistan is a priority in China's foreign policies, Xi told Sharif, calling on the two sides to step up the current cooperation to a higher level, and strengthen joint planning on the key bilateral projects in a bid to promote common development.

Xi also said Sharif, as a senior Pakistani statesman, is an old friend of China who has remained committed to promoting China-Pakistan friendship and generating significant contributions to bolster the bilateral ties.

Echoing Xi's views on the bilateral relations, Sharif said the Pakistani people highly value the friendship with the Chinese people. He expressed his appreciation to the valuable aid and help offered by China in a long time.

Sharif said China was the first foreign nation he visited after he took office in May, which showed his determination to consolidate and foster the good-neighborly and friendly ties with China.

He said Pakistan expects to expand cooperation with China in many fields as the country is on a fast track of its own national development.

He said Pakistan welcomes Chinese companies to invest and establish business in the country and he pledged to create a safer and more favorable environment for investors.

At the invitation of Premier Li Keqiang, Sharif is on an official visit to China from July 3 to 8.

(Xinhua News Agency July 4, 2013)

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