Pakistan President Mamnoon Hussain on Monday assured his country’s firm support to China on issues concerning Beijing’s ‘core interests’ as he met with visiting Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang in Islamabad.
Hussain thanked China for sending a delegation to attend the commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the independence of Pakistan, China’s official Xinhua news agency reported on the meeting. Pakistan and China are “iron friends,” he said, noting that Pakistan’s friendship with China forms the foundation of Pakistan’s foreign policy.
He said Pakistan will continue to firmly support China on issues concerning China’s core interests, and enhance cooperation with China on international and regional affairs, the report said. The Pakistani president also pledged that Pakistan will actively join the Belt and Road Initiative and promote the construction of the USD 50 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. India has opposed the CPEC as it traverses through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
Wang said the relationship between China and Pakistan has maintained sound and stable development and become a model of country-to-country relations since they forged diplomatic ties 66 years ago. China is ready to make joint efforts with Pakistan to implement the important consensus reached between the leaders of the two countries, continue to deepen strategic mutual trust, and understand and support each other on issues concerning each other’s core interests, Wang said.
The Chinese vice premier also mentioned boosting cooperation with Pakistan on counter-terrorism, security, and promoting people-to-people exchanges. Wang had met with Pakistan’s new Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Sunday.