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Sep 12, 2009 at 10:03pm IST

'Pak wants to strengthen ties with China'

Islamabad: Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari on Saturday said his country wants to further bolster the existing strong bilateral ties with China and to enhance the strategic economic cooperation between the two countries.

Pakistan "attaches high value to its relations with China and takes pride in the success story of China", Zardari said while speaking to Chinese ambassador in Pakistan Luo Zhaohui who visited the president in Islamabad on Saturday, Online news agency reported.

Recalling his recent visits to China, Zardari said his quarterly visits to China would enhance the strategic economic cooperation between the two countries.

NEIGHBOURLY TIES: China is known as Pakistan's "all-weather friend."

He said the visits were also aimed at learning from the Chinese development model for application in Pakistan.

The Chinese ambassador said China and Pakistan enjoy an "exemplary relationship" with a high degree of mutual trust, understanding and convergence of views on bilateral, regional and international issues.

The ambassador said that the president's visits to China had been instrumental in further boosting Sino-Pakistani bilateral relations in all fields.

China is known as Pakistan's "all-weather friend" and has been its main supplier of conventional arms and ammunitions. It also provides hundreds of millions of dollars of development finance.

It is also believed that China supported Pakistan's missile and nuclear weapons programme for decades.

Recently, the two countries signed a $1 billion accord to construct 12 dams in Pakistan.

A Chinese import/export bank would provide Pakistan $700 million loan for the projects while the remaining would be furnished by the government of Pakistan.

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