ISLAMABAD - The following is the joint statement on comprehensive strategic cooperation between the People's Republic of China and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan issued on Thursday.

It said that at the invitation of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Premier Li Keqiang of the State Council of the People's Republic of China paid an official visit to Pakistan on 22 - 23 May 2013. During the visit, Premier Li Keqiang met the President and Prime Minister of Pakistan, Chairman Senate, Speaker of National Assembly, leaders of the main political parties, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee and Services Chiefs and had an extensive interaction with a cross section of Pakistani society. Premier Li also addressed the Senate of Pakistan. The two sides signed documents of cooperation in political, economic, maritime, aerospace, energy, transportation and cultural fields.

The two sides reviewed with satisfaction the development of China-Pakistan relations, and are of the view that the China-Pakistan relationship has acquired growing strategic significance under the current complex and volatile regional and international situation. This partnership positively contributes to peace and stability in the region. To cement this strategic partnership is the shared objective of both countries.

The two sides decided to further deepen practical cooperation in all sectors and strengthen coordination and cooperation on international and regional issues according to the guiding principles of the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Good-Neighbourly Relations between the People's Republic of China and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and on the basis of the existing close cooperation. The two sides agreed to deepen comprehensive strategic cooperation in the following eight areas:

I Political Relations

China reaffirmed that China - Pakistan relationship is always a priority in its foreign policy, and will continue to steadily push forward this strategic partnership of cooperation with Pakistan. China appreciates Pakistan's long-term, staunch support on issues concerning China's core interests. China will continue to support Pakistan's efforts to uphold its independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, respect the development path chosen by the Pakistani people according to their national priorities, and support Pakistan in maintaining social stability and economic development.

Pakistan reiterated that friendship with China is the cornerstone of its foreign policy enjoying a national consensus. Pakistan appreciates the support and assistance of the Chinese government and people for Pakistan's economic and social development, Pakistan will continue to vigorously pursue this time-tested and all weather friendship with China. Pakistan will continue to adhere to one-China policy, oppose "Taiwan independence" and "Tibet independence," support the peaceful development of the relations across the Taiwan Straits and China's cause of reunification, and support China's efforts in combating the "Three Evil Forces" of extremism, terrorism and separatism. We regard ETIM as our common threat and stand united in upholding sovereignty and territorial integrity of China.

The two sides believe that maintaining the tradition of frequent exchange of visits and meetings between their leaders, and fully leverage such mechanisms as annual meetings between their leaders is of great importance in advancing bilateral relations. They agree to fully leverage such mechanisms as Foreign Ministers' Dialogue, Strategic Dialogue and other consultative mechanisms between the relevant ministries and departments, so as to strengthen the strategic communication and coordination between the two countries.

II. Economic Cooperation and Trade

Both sides reaffirmed that expanding bilateral economic relations was a high priority. The two sides agreed to establish an interface between China's strategy to develop its western region and Pakistan's domestic economic development with a view to translate their high-level political relationship into results of pragmatic cooperation. To this end, the two sides will strengthen cooperation in trade, investment, energy, agriculture, finance and other fields.

The two sides agree to fully implement the Additional Agreement to Extend the Five Year Development Programme on China - Pakistan Trade and Economic Cooperation and the China-Pakistan Free Trade Agreement, fast track work on the projects identified under the Five Year Development Program, press ahead with the second phase of negotiations of China-Pakistan Free Trade Agreement, further liberalize trade, and advance economic integration between them. China stresses that it will continue to encourage and support Chinese enterprises' investment in Pakistan, which will contribute to the improvement of Pakistan's economy and people's well-being. China will continue to push relevant financial institutions to help finance those bilateral economic cooperation projects that are ripe for implementation. The two sides agreed to start work on the China-Pakistan Agriculture Demonstration Zones on priority. 

The two sides agreed to enhance exchanges between young entrepreneurs, and will strengthen communication on trade and investment cooperation.  

The two sides agreed to jointly carry out economic and technical cooperation in agriculture, health, education and projects that benefit the people. They will hold the third meeting of the China - Pakistan Joint Energy Working Group at an early date to deepen cooperation in conventional energy, renewable energy and civil nuclear energy. The two sides agree to continue the implementation of the currency-swap agreement and strengthen cooperation in the financial sector.

III. Connectivity

The two sides believe that enhancing connectivity between China and Pakistan, an area where they already enjoy good cooperation, is conducive to tapping the potential of trade, logistics and flow of personnel between the two countries as well as the economic integration of the two countries and the region. The two sides will make concerted efforts to continuously improve connectivity between China and Pakistan, accelerate work on the Attabad Lake blocking the Karakorum Highway (KKH), carry forward the project of the upgrading of the KKH and the national highway network post-flood rehabilitation project, and promote cooperation in building transport infrastructure. The two sides agree to jointly develop the Long-Term Plan for China-Pakistan Economic Corridor on the basis of thorough study, so as to promote greater connectivity and further development of investment, trade and economic cooperation between China and Pakistan. Both sides decided to establish a joint working group under the National Reform Development Commission of China and the Planning Commission of Pakistan which will study relevant connectivity ventures.

IV. Maritime Cooperation

The two sides believe that enlarging and deepening maritime cooperation between the two countries is of great importance to enriching the China - Pakistan strategic partnership of cooperation and improving the wellbeing of the two nations. The two sides agree to enhance bilateral cooperation in the fields of maritime security, search and rescue and disaster relief at sea, maritime scientific research and environmental protection, and blue economy. They also agree to jointly support the construction and development of the China - Pakistan Joint Maritime Research Center, tackle the growing non-traditional threats to maritime security, and effectively safeguard the security of international sea-lanes. The two sides signed the memorandum of understanding on Maritime Cooperation between the government of the People's Republic of China and the government of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and memorandum of understanding on cooperation in the field of marine science and technology between the State Oceanic Administration of the People's Republic of China and the Ministry of Science and Technology of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

V. Aviation and Aerospace

The two sides see their cooperation in aviation and aerospace as an important reflection of their high-level strategic cooperation. They agree to earnestly implement the 2012-2020 Space Cooperation Outline Between China National Space Administration and Pakistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission to further enhance bilateral exchanges and cooperation in this field. The two sides welcome the signing of the agreement for cooperation on BeiDou Satellite Navigation System in Pakistan, and will make continual progress in the remote-sensing satellite system project. The two sides will take necessary measures to actively explore expanding air routes for passenger travel and cargo transportation between the two countries, and increase the number of flights.

VI. People-to-People Exchanges

The two sides believe that the growing people-to-people exchanges and cooperation help to build strong public support for China-Pakistan friendship. The Chinese side supports efforts of the Pakistani side to expand teaching of the Chinese language and will train 1,000 Chinese-language teachers for Pakistan in five years. The Pakistani side supports the establishment of a Confucius Institute in Karachi University, and the gradual increase in number of Confucius Institutes in Pakistan.

The two sides agree to launch inter-governmental consultations at an early date to implement the Digital Television Terrestrial Multimedia Broadcasting (DTMB) in Pakistan. They will deepen exchanges between universities, think thanks, press media, and film and television industries, and push forward the establishment of cultural centers in each other's countries. They will maintain the exchange of youth delegations, and strengthen cooperation in the training of young cadres, the exchanges between young entrepreneurs and volunteers. Both sides agreed to celebrate 2015 as China-Pakistan Year of Friendly Exchanges for which various activities will be arranged through mutual consultations.

VII. Defence and Security Cooperation

The two sides believe that the exchanges and collaboration between the armed forces of China and Pakistan are important pillars of their friendly relations. They highly commend the China-Pakistan Defence and Security Consultations Mechanism, and will maintain the momentum of high-level visits between the armed forces of the two countries, deepen cooperation in counter-terrorism personnel training, joint training, equipment and technology, and exchanges between military academics, and identify new areas for exchanges and cooperation. The two sides agreed to further enhance cooperation in defence technology and production.

The two sides believe that terrorism, separatism and extremism pose serious threats to regional peace, stability and security, and reaffirm their resolve to continue their practical cooperation to jointly combat the "Three Evil Forces" within bilateral and multilateral frameworks.

China recognises that Pakistan has made great efforts and sacrifices to combat terrorism, and reiterates that it respects the anti-terrorism strategy developed and implemented by the Pakistani side in light of its own conditions. Pakistan reaffirms its resolve to combat terrorism, and commits to continuous, active collaboration with and assistance to China in combating terrorist forces including the ETIM. China expresses its appreciation and continued willingness to help Pakistan build up counter-terrorism capacity.

VIII. International and Regional Issues

The Asia-Pacific region plays an increasingly important role in global affairs. The two sides are of the view that all regional countries should make united efforts to tackle global and regional issues, maintain peace and stability, resolve disputes peacefully and promote regional common development, as well as to establish an open, transparent, equal and inclusive security and cooperation framework, based on the fundamental principles of International Law. The two sides agree to continue encouraging relevant countries in the region to resolve their differences through consultations and negotiations in accordance with relevant principles of UN Charter. The two sides support multilateral cooperation mechanisms in Asia, and take a positive view of each other's participation in regional and sub-regional cooperation processes.

The two sides recognize that they hold identical views on many international and regional issues of mutual interest. They agree to maintain close communication and mutual support and collaboration in various multilateral fora including the United Nations, the Asia-Europe Meeting, the ASEAN Regional Forum, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the Istanbul Process.

The two sides stress that they will enhance communication and cooperation on important global issues such as climate change, food and energy security and UN reform. China and Pakistan are committed to strengthening the solidarity and cooperation between developing countries and safeguarding their common interests.

The two sides believe that the evolving situation in Afghanistan has great implications for the regional security and stability, and the political reconciliation is a key step towards peace and stability in Afghanistan. The two sides reaffirm their support for the "Afghan-owned and Afghan-led" peace and reconciliation process, and will work with the regional countries and the international community to help Afghanistan achieve peace, stability and security. China and Pakistan will strengthen bilateral, trilateral and multilateral consultations on the issue of Afghanistan.

Premier Li Keqiang expressed appreciation for the warm hospitality accorded to him and his delegation.