LAHORE - Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has said the Pakistani government and people are proud of their friendship with China, and the two countries are bound together strong ties of friendship and mutual respect.

Assistant Minister International Section of Communist Party of China Li Jun met CM Shehbaz here yesterday and shared views on the matters of Pak-China bilateral relations and promotion of ties between the two countries.

“China is a sincere and trustworthy friend of Pakistan. China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a precious gift of Chinese government, leadership and people for the government and people of Pakistan,” said Shehbaz Sharif, adding that a new era of progress and prosperity will usher in the while region.

“The investment of $46 billion is a proof of deep love of Chinese leadership for the Pakistani people as well as confidence in the PML-N leadership. Pakistani people will never forget this sincere gesture of Chinese leadership and people,” he added.

Calling the CPEC a game changer for Pakistan, Shehbaz Sharif said that vision of ‘one belt, one road’ reflects economic development. He also lauded the able leadership of Communist Party of China, taking the country to tremendous progress within a short period.

Shehbaz further told the Chinese dignitary that the growing contacts between the PML-N and the Communist Party were also bringing the people of the two countries closer. “Pakistan and China have uniformity in the views over international issues,” said the CM, adding that the exchange of delegations at the party level will further expand bilateral relations.

He said that the terrorists are common enemies of all nations and all groups engaged in terrorists’ activities are bad and it is necessary to deal with them through collective efforts.

“Orange Line project is another gift of the President and Prime Minister of China for the people of Pakistan and such a mammoth project has never been launched in transport sector in the country,” the CM told the Chinese. During the meeting, Mr Li Jun said that China attaches high importance to its friendship and relations with Pakistan and both the countries have similar views on different affairs.

He appreciated the role of Shehbaz Sharif in expanding relations between the two countries. He added that Shehbaz Sharif played a key role in furthering CPEC project “with his ability to control difficult situation due to his extraordinary qualities”. The Chinese told the CM that exchange of delegations of youth parliamentarians will further promote Pak-China friendship.

Chinese Consul General Yu Boren, senior officials of Communist Party of China, Provincial Ministers Mujtaba Shuja ur Rehman, Zakia Shahnawaz, Kh. Ahmed Hasaan and officers concerned were also present on the occasion.

Separately, the chief minster held a meeting with a delegation of students of Harvard Kennedy School, a prestigious American educational institution.

The students called on the CM him under the leadership of MD Pakistan Credit Rating Agency (PACRA) Qazi Adnan Afaq.

CM Shehbaz told the delegation that Pakistan is the only country of SAARC, which has improved its categorization regarding transparency. “The Transparency International Berlin has declared transparency rating of Pakistan as better,” said the CM, adding that Pakistani society is based on tolerance and patience and every citizen has equal rights without discrimination of caste, colour and creed under the constitution.