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Commentary: China-Pakistan traditional friendship faces new development opportunities

Xinhua, April 20, 2015 Adjust font size:

Chinese President Xi Jinping will pay a state visit to Pakistan on Monday and Tuesday, which will be his first trip to the South Asian country since he assumed the presidency in 2013 and will bring new development opportunities for the bilateral traditional friendship.

Xi's visit shows the importance of China-Pakistan relations, as the South Asian country is a key neighbor as well as an all-weather strategic cooperative partner of China.

China and Pakistan are linked by mountains and rivers and the two peoples share a traditional friendship based on sincerity and mutual support since the establishment of diplomatic ties 64 years ago.

The Chinese people have always regarded the Pakistani people as reliable friends, and Pakistan has supported China on many issues concerning China's core interests and spared no effort in helping the Chinese people and government when natural disasters occurred.

Today, China and Pakistan stand at a new starting point and are blessed with favorable conditions of new opportunities, geographical convenience and common resolve to develop traditional friendship.

During Xi's visit, China and Pakistan will sign deals on a wide range of issues, from energy and infrastructure to education and culture, which will inject fresh and powerful impetus into the deepening of China-Pakistan friendship and comprehensive collaboration.

The two countries have maintained good momentum in developing bilateral ties and their cooperation featuring the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a flagship project aimed at boosting connectivity between the two neighbors, has been pragmatic and fruitful.

CPEC, also an important part of the China-proposed Belt and Road initiative, has set up the strategic framework for pragmatic cooperation between the two countries.

Economic cooperation between China and Pakistan works for the integration of their economies. President Xi's visit will help the two countries develop closer economic ties, allowing both sides to strengthen cooperation in the areas of ports, energy, infrastructure and industry with CPEC at the center.

Economic exchanges between the two sides are growing, with bilateral trade exceeding 16 billion U.S. dollars in 2014.

People-to-people exchanges are also increasing, especially between the youths. Xi's visit will boost mutual visits, language training, youth exchanges and cooperation between sister cities, media and think tanks of the two countries.

This year is the China-Pakistan Year of Friendly Exchanges and President Xi's visit will open a new chapter of friendship between China and Pakistan, giving new life to the all-weather friendship and all-dimensional cooperation between the two countries. Endi