ISLAMABAD - In another landmark development, Islamabad and Beijing have agreed to establish currency-swap arrangements that would enhance mutually beneficial cooperation in the financial sector and help promote bilateral trade between the countries. A 18-point joint communiqu issued by the Foreign Office at the end of the visit of Chinese Premier on Sunday said that leaders of the two countries had an in-depth exchange of views on further strengthening and deepening the China-Pakistan all-weather strategic partnership of cooperation, on major international and regional issues of mutual interest in a cordial and friendly atmosphere, and reached broad consensus. It stated that friendship and cooperation between China and Pakistan serve the fundamental interests of the two countries and peoples, and contribute to peace, stability and development in the region and beyond. The two sides agreed to enhance strategic coordination, advance pragmatic cooperation and work together to meet challenges in pursuit of common development. The two sides announced that the year 2011 be designated the "Year of China-Pakistan Friendship", and decided to hold a series of activities in the political, economic, trade, military, cultural, sporting and education fields, to warmly celebrate the 60th anniversary of the establishment of China-Pakistan diplomatic relations. The Chinese side reiterated that the Chinese government always places high on its diplomatic agenda, consolidating and developing relations with Pakistan and is firm on the policy of pursuing friendly ties with Pakistan. The Chinese side is ready to work with Pakistan to further deepen China-Pakistan friendship and pass it on from generation to generation. The Chinese side appreciates Pakistan's longstanding firm support on issues that concern China's core interests. The Pakistani side stressed that pursuing friendship with China is the bedrock of Pakistan's foreign policy and national consensus. Pakistan appreciates the strong support and selfless assistance from the Chinese government and people for its economic and social development. Pakistan will continue to pursue the policy of further strengthening friendly relations with China. The Chinese side reiterated that it respects Pakistan's sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity, respects the development path chosen by the Pakistani people in the light of Pakistan's own national conditions, and appreciates and supports Pakistan's efforts in safeguarding its sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity and promoting peace and stability in South Asia. The Pakistani side reiterated that it remains committed to the One-China policy, opposes Taiwan independence, supports the peaceful development of cross-straits relations and China's reunification, and supports the efforts made by the Chinese government in safeguarding its sovereignty and territorial integrity. The two sides shared the view that exchange of high-level visits and contacts between leaders of the two countries has played an irreplaceable role in promoting bilateral relations. The two sides decided to maintain regular mutual visits and contacts at the leadership level, establish the annual meeting mechanism between leaders, set up the Foreign Ministers' dialogue mechanism and reinforce the Foreign Ministries' dialogue mechanism to strengthen China-Pakistan strategic consultation and coordination. The Pakistani side expressed high appreciation and thanks to the Chinese side for its timely assistance in Pakistan's floods relief and rescue efforts as well as in post-disaster reconstruction. It thanked the Chinese side for delivering relief supplies to Gilgit-Baltistan area to help the local people, and stressed that it is a vivid reflection of Pakistan-China fraternal friendship. The Chinese side reiterated that it would take full part in the post-flood reconstruction and fulfil its existing promises. The Chinese side will support, on a priority basis the national highway network post-flood rehabilitation project in flood-affected areas, the national project for improved rice-processing, the national project for controlled atmosphere and advanced ventilated cold storage and crop monitoring through remote imagery satellite. The Chinese side will allocate 10 million US dollars for the Citizen Damage Compensation Plan of Pakistan, and provide 100 million US dollars in preferential loans and 300 million US dollars in preferential buyer's credit for projects of great importance to Pakistan. The Chinese side stands ready to share with Pakistan relevant information and experience on disaster reduction and relief, and provide related technical support and training. The two sides agreed to explore the feasibility of establishing joint programmes on environmental studies, in particular research and exchange of information on shared eco systems. The two sides agreed to further intensify cooperation in infrastructure development, energy and agriculture on a priority basis. The Chinese side will provide assistance for upgrading the Karakorum Highway, resolve the problem of earthquake lakes, and encourage Chinese financial institutions to explore feasible financing schemes with the Pakistani side. The energy cooperation mechanism will be established to push forward bilateral cooperation in conventional energy, renewable energy and civil nuclear energy. The two sides agreed to start the construction of China-Pakistan Agriculture Demonstration Zones as soon as possible. The two sides agreed to enhance mutually beneficial cooperation in the financial sector. The two sides agreed to establish currency-swap arrangements. The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China decided to establish branches in Islamabad and Karachi. The Chinese side is also ready to facilitate qualified Pakistani banks to open branches in China. The two sides decided to further implement the Framework Agreement between Pakistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO) and China National Space Administration (CNSA) on Deepening Cooperation in Space Science and Technology. In this context, they expressed satisfaction on their joint collaboration in fabrication and launching of satellites. The two sides agreed further cooperation in human resources development. The Chinese side is ready to help Pakistan enhance its capacities in science, technology and management. The two sides decided to renew the Five Year Development Programme on Trade and Economic Cooperation. The two sides expressed satisfaction with the 14th meeting of the China-Pakistan Joint Economic Commission and the Business Cooperation Summit, and instructed related departments to implement the decisions of the Joint Economic Commission to strengthen China-Pakistan economic and trade cooperation. The two sides encouraged the relevant departments to implement decisions taken by the second session of the Free Trade Commission. The two sides jointly declared that the second phase negotiations of the China-Pakistan Free Trade Agreement would be launched in the first quarter of Year 2011 to enhance trade liberalisation and promote economic and trade growth of the two countries. The two sides pledged to work for continuous and all-round progress in the development of the China-Pakistan Free Trade Area, and decided to establish the China-Pakistan Entrepreneurs Forum to strengthen exchanges between their business communities. Pakistan decided to establish a Special Economic Zone for Chinese Businesses to attract more Chinese investment in Pakistan. The two sides support and encourage border trade to promote common development and prosperity in the border areas. The two sides will explore the possibility of establishing trans-border economic zones and take steps to enhance cooperation in border management. The two sides reiterated that they will continue to enhance mutual trust and cooperation in the military and security field in line with the principles and spirit of the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Good-neighbourly Relations between the People's Republic of China and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan signed in 2005. This is conducive to peace, security and stability of the two countries and the region. The two sides agreed to step up personnel training, joint exercises, training and cooperation for national defence, science and technology, and collaboration in defence production. The two sides also agreed to give further impetus to maritime security cooperation. The two sides agreed to expand cultural, sporting and people-to-people interactions in a comprehensive manner, and engage in broad contacts between universities, think tanks, academic institutions, mass media, and film and television industries. The two sides decided to establish cultural centres in each other's country, maintain and expand step by step the one hundred youth exchange programme and enhance cooperation in young officials training, exchanges between young entrepreneurs and young volunteer services. China will invite 100 senior middle school/high school students from Pakistan to China for the Summer Camp and continue to provide Confucius Institute scholarships to Pakistani university students. China will provide 500 government scholarships to Pakistan in 3 years starting from 2011. The two sides will also intensify their cooperation in science and technology, applied sciences, learning of Chinese and Urdu languages. The Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries will undertake the China-Pakistan Friendship Bringing-Light Tour to Pakistan and provide free surgical treatment for 1000 Pakistani cataract patients within two years. The two sides agreed to open new air routes and increase flights. The two sides shared the view that terrorism, separatism and extremism pose serious threats to regional peace, stability and security. They reaffirmed their resolve to undertake substantive cooperation under bilateral and multilateral frameworks, and jointly fight the above-mentioned three forces. The Chinese side held the view that Pakistan has made great efforts and endured great sacrifices in fighting terrorism, and reiterated that it respects the counter-terrorism strategy constituted and implemented by Pakistan in light of its own national conditions. The Pakistani side reaffirmed its resolve to fight terrorism. The Chinese side held the view that Pakistan is an important member state of the region and plays a vital role in safeguarding peace, security and stability. The two sides decided to strengthen communication and coordination in regional affairs, on hotspot issues such as the issue of Afghanistan and regional cooperation. The two sides voiced support for the unity and territorial integrity of Afghanistan, the efforts of the Afghan government to advance peace, reconstruction and national reconciliation based on the fundamental interest of its country and people, and expressed hope to see a peaceful, stable and independent Afghanistan that enjoys development and good neighbourliness. The two sides stressed their commitment to stronger solidarity and cooperation among developing countries, to upholding their rights and interests in the process of globalisation, and to making sustained efforts to achieve the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. The two sides reiterated that they would step up coordination and cooperation on major international issues such as climate change, food and energy security and UN reform. The two sides signed 12 Agreements/Memorandums of Understanding on cooperation in the fields of culture, transportation, economic assistance, media, finance, and energy. At the invitation of Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani, Prime Minister of Pakistan, Wen Jiabao, Premier of China paid the official visit to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan on 17-19 December 2010. Premier Wen Jiabao held formal talks with Prime Mi nister Gilani, and met President Asif Ali Zardari, Chairman Senate Farooq Hamid Naek, Speaker National Assembly Dr Fehmida Mirza, leaders of the main political parties, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee and the three Services Chiefs. During the visit, Premier Wen Jiabao had extensive contacts with people of various sectors of Pakistan. He delivered a speech entitled Shaping the Future Together Through Thick and Thin in Islamabad. The National Disaster Management Authority briefed the two Prime Ministers. They also attended the Pakistan-China Business Cooperation Summit, the Inauguration Ceremony of the Pakistan-China Friendship Centre and the Launching Ceremony of the China-Pakistan Friendship Bringing-Light Tour, and met individuals who made great contributions to China-Pakistan friendship. Premier Wen Jiabao expressed appreciation to Prime Minister Gilani and the government and people of Pakistan for the warm hospitality accorded to him and his delegation. Premier Wen Jiabao invited Prime Minister Gilani to pay an official visit to China at a mutually convenient time. Prime Minister Gilani appreciated the invitation and accepted it with pleasure.