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China upbeat on military cooperation with Pakistan
Anil K Joseph in Beijing | March 25, 2003 18:30 IST
Hailing the Chinese army's "extensive" military links with Pakistan, Beijing said today it is willing to step up military cooperation between the two countries.
"For many years, high-level exchanges of military officials were frequent and the fields of cooperation between the two sides were extensive," China's new Defence Minister General Cao Gangchuan said during a meeting with visiting Pakistan Prime Minister Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali.
Cao, who is also Vice Chairman of the Central Military Commission, China's top military organisation, said military-to-mlitary ties between the two countries were "an important part of State-to-State relations."
"With the concerted efforts of the two sides, military relations would further develop, contributing to the all-round frendly cooperative ties," Cao, who was appointed defence minister last week, was quoted as saying by the official Xinhua news agency.
Jamali, on a three-day official visit to China, said his government valued friendly relations with China and the Pakistani people appreciated the long-term help from the Chinese government. "No matter what happened in the world and in Pakistan, the Pakistani government would be dedicated to promoting friendly relations with China," he said.
He also called on China's new President Hu Jintao on the second day of his stay in Beijing. Hu expressed the hope that Jamali's visit would further promote all-round cooperative friendly relations between China and Pakistan. Jamali is scheduled to meet CMC Chairman Jiang Zemin and Chairman of the National People's Congress Wu Bangguo.
On Monday, Jamali met new Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and had an in-depth exchange of views on bilateral ties, the situation in South Asia and the Iraq issue.
More reports from China