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Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi Takes Written Interview of the Associated Press of Pakistan

(2008/04/25)

Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi took a written interview of the Associated Press of Pakistan recently. The full text is as follows:

I. How do you comment on your upcoming first visit to Pakistan? What is the agenda of the visit?

A: Pakistan is a traditional friendly neighbor and strategic partner of China. It is the first time for me to visit Pakistan after I came into office and another friendly exchange between the two countries after the formation of the two new governments.

During the visit, I will meet with President Musharraf and Prime Minister Gilani, hold talks with Foreign Minister Qureshi and contact the leaders of major Pakistani political parties to exchange opinions on how to strengthen China-Pakistan strategic partnership and promote the bilateral friendly cooperation in various fields. I am looking forward to deepening the China-Pakistan all-weathered friendship by this visit.

II. What's your comment on the role of President Musharraf recent visit to China on strengthening the Pakistan-China strategic partnership?

A: At the invitation of President Hu Jintao, President Musharraf paid a state visit to China and attended Bo'ao Forum for Asia in mid-April. During the visit, President Hu Jintao, NPC Chairman Wu Bangguo, Premier Wen Jiabao and CPPCC Chairman Jia Qinglin held talks with him respectively. Both sides exchanged views on the bilateral relations and major international and regional affairs and reached wide consensus. They agreed to strengthen the exchanges of government, parliament, political parties and military force and non-governmental contacts between the two countries and continue to expand their mutually beneficial cooperation in such fields as economy, trade, energy and education. China holds highly positive views on the visit which has enriched the connotation of China-Pakistan cooperation and deepened the bilateral strategic partnership.

III. What's your comment on Pakistan's active support for China on such questions as Tibet and Beijing Olympic Games?

A: Over the years Pakistan has extended firm support to China on the questions related with China's core interest such as Taiwan, Tibet and human rights, which China appreciates very much.

The Olympic torch relay in Islamabad not long ago is a big success. The Pakistani government has attached great importance to and made great efforts to prepare for the relay. People of all walks of life of Pakistan actively attended the relay activities and President Musharraf and Prime Minister Gilani jointly hosted the relay ceremony, which not only promoted the Olympic spirit but also demonstrated the all-weathered friendship between China and Pakistan. I believe that with the support of the international community including Pakistan the Beijing Olympic Games will be a full success.

IV. Compared with the close diplomatic relations, the economic relations between China and Pakistan lag behind. What measures will China take to promote the development of bilateral economic ties?

A: China and Pakistan are not only close and friendly neighbors but also mutually beneficial economic partners. China attaches great importance to the economic and trade cooperation with Pakistan. The bilateral economic, trade and investment cooperation has continued to grow. Pakistan is the first country in South Asia to sign the free trade agreement with China. China's first overseas industrial park "Haier & Ruba Economic Zone" operates smoothly and joint venture financial institution China-Pakistan Joint Investment Company has been launched. I believe with the joint efforts of both sides the goal of more than US$15 billion of bilateral trade volume will surely be realized and the bilateral economic and trade cooperative relations will stride forward.

V. What's your comment on Pakistan's efforts of fighting against terrorism and promoting peace and development in South Asia?

A: Pakistan is an important country in South Asia and stands at the forefront of international anti-terrorism campaign. In recent years Pakistan has made great efforts for international anti-terrorism cooperation. It has also played a constructive role of pushing forward the India-Pakistan peace process and the regional cooperation in South Asia and made remarkable contributions to maintaining peace and development in the region, which China highly admires.

VII. What is the prospect of Pakistan's full membership to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)? What role will China play as the observer of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC)?

A: The Shanghai Cooperation Organization follows the principle of reaching consensus through consultations and the accession of new members needs to be decided by all member countries through consultations. Pakistan has actively participated in the activities within the framework of SCO as an observer, which China highly admires. As an all-weathered friend, we welcome Pakistan's bigger role in the SCO.

Since China became SAARC's observer, the bilateral cooperation has moved forward steadily. As a friendly neighbor of South Asia, China is willing to conduct dialogue on an equal footing and pragmatic cooperation with SAARC and play a constructive role of promoting the cooperation process of SAARC in the spirit of equality, mutual trust and win-win cooperation and on the basis of respecting the will of SAARC member countries.



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