China is ready to strengthen all-round strategic and economic cooperation with Pakistan, visiting Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang said here on Monday.
Wang, who attended the flag hoisting ceremony at the Convention Centre here on the occasion of Pakistan’s 71st Independence Day, said Beijing and Islamabad had stood by each other in difficult times and “this friendship will stand the test of time and grow with coming generations”.
“We need to keep the tradition of close high-level exchanges, extend firm mutual support on issues concerning each other’s major interests and strengthen cooperation in international and regional affairs,” Wang was quoted as saying by Xinhua news agency.
He noted that China firmly supports Pakistani efforts to uphold independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as to fight against terrorism in light of its own national conditions.
On the economic front, Wang said: “China sees Pakistan as an important partner in the Belt and Road Initiative and the two countries will take forward the building of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor by launching more early harvest projects to enhance Pakistan’s capacity for independent development.”
Proposed by China in 2013, the Belt and Road Initiative refers to the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, aiming at building a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient trade routes of Silk Road.
Wang said China is also ready to strengthen all-round people-to-people exchanges with Pakistan by expanding cooperation in education, science and technology, culture, health and sports.
The Chinese leader also said that Beijing wants to encourage exchanges between youth, think-tanks, media, universities, non-governmental organisations to promote China-Pakistan friendship.
Wang arrived in Pakistan on Sunday to attend the country’s 71st Independence Day.