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Premier reaffirms China's support for Pakistan
Last Updated: 2022-05-17 08:01 | China Daily
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Cooperation in major projects, bilateral strategic communication emphasized
Premier Li Keqiang reaffirmed Beijing's support for Pakistan in its economic growth, improving the well-being of its people and ensuring its financial stability, saying on Monday that China has always seen the nation as a priority in its neighborhood diplomacy.
In a phone conversation with Pakistani Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif, Li said that China, as Pakistan's close and friendly neighbor and its ironclad friend, will extend steadfast support to the nation in safeguarding its national sovereignty and safety.
He expressed China's willingness to step up bilateral strategic communication, promote cooperation in major projects such as the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and boost personnel exchanges while putting in place sound measures to contain COVID-19.
The conversation came after a terrorist attack in Karachi on April 26, which killed three Chinese citizens and left one injured-the fourth such attack on Chinese citizens in Pakistan since April 2021.
The call followed a videoconference last week between State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Pakistani Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, during which the two sides reached a consensus on the issue of Chinese citizens' security in Pakistan.
Li reiterated Beijing's shock and indignation at the incident, saying he hopes that Pakistan can hunt down the terrorists as early as possible, make all-out efforts to handle related matters and offer consolation to the families of the deceased and the injured.
He underlined the importance of bolstering the security measures for Chinese institutions and personnel in Pakistan, and preventing such tragedies from reoccurring.
Shahbaz, who became Pakistan's prime minister last month, again expressed deep condolences over the deaths and conveyed his sympathy for those injured in the terrorist attack.
He underscored that Pakistan strongly condemns terrorism and attaches importance to the safety of Chinese citizens in Pakistan, adding that he sees the Chinese victims in the incident as no different from his compatriots.
Shahbaz pledged a thorough investigation to uncover the truth about the attack and to bring those responsible to justice.
He assured Li that Pakistan will step up security measures for Chinese institutions and personnel and ensure such incidents never happen again.
Shahbaz said Pakistan's friendship with China-the nation's largest trade partner and a major source of foreign direct investment-is deeply rooted and bilateral cooperation has reached an unprecedented level.
Pakistan is willing to step up bilateral cooperation in key projects such as the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and special economic zones and conduct even closer people-to-people exchanges, he said.
Dunya News, a television news channel in Pakistan, reported on Monday that Pakistani counterterrorism authorities had arrested a woman suspected of intending to carry out a suicide bombing to target Chinese motorcades traveling in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, and raids were underway to arrest other members of the network involved in such activities.

(Editor:Wang Su)

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Premier reaffirms China's support for Pakistan
Source:China Daily | 2022-05-17 08:01
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