President Zardari emphasises stronger economic, cultural ties with China

 President Asif Ali Zardari stated on Wednesday that Pakistan and China enjoy long-term strategic relations which need to be further strengthened in the areas of trade, economy, agriculture, people-to-people contacts and culture.

During a meeting with the visiting chairman of China International Development Cooperation Agency (CIDCA), Luo Zhaohui, and his delegation, the president underlined the need for both countries to continue working together to elevate bilateral relations to new heights.

The meeting was attended by Ambassador of China in Pakistan Jiang Zaidong, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Dr Jahanzeb Khan and senior officials from both governments.

Reiterating Pakistan’s firm commitment to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the president emphasised its immense strategic importance and pledged full support for the timely completion of all CPEC projects.

Highlighting the significance of Gwadar Port, Zardari noted that it would not only promote regional connectivity but also make the transport of goods to China cost-effective. He also proposed joint training projects to equip human resources with skills tailored to Chinese demand for a skilled workforce.

Chairman Luo Zhaohui briefed the president about CIDCA’s role in Pakistan’s socio-economic development, particularly its contributions in the health and education sectors. He stressed the importance of promoting tourism and agricultural cooperation between the two countries.

President Zardari expressed sorrow over the unfortunate terrorist attack on Chinese workers in Bisham and assured that Pakistan would spare no effort in providing a safe environment for Chinese workers and investors.

Luo stated that despite attempts by enemies of both countries to harm bilateral relations, they would not succeed. The president thanked the government of China for its support to Pakistan and its vital role in Pakistan’s economic development.

He also commended CIDCA’s contributions to the rehabilitation of flood-affected people, reconstruction of schools in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh, and construction of housing units for lady health workers in Sindh and Balochistan.

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