Pakistani Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif speaks in an interview in Islamabad, capital of Pakistan, on June 14, 2022. Pakistan expects to further lift its friendship and cooperation with China to a new level, Pakistani Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif has said. (Xinhua/Ahmad Kamal)
ISLAMABAD, July 9 (Xinhua) -- Pakistan expects to further lift its friendship and cooperation with China to a new level, Pakistani Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif has said.
During a recent interview at the Prime Minister's Office in Islamabad, Sharif said that despite a shifting international landscape, Pakistan and China firmly support each other. The people-to-people exchanges between the two countries have witnessed new progress and the Pakistani people benefit from bilateral cooperation.
The prime minister noted that the Belt and Road Initiative has offered great help to Pakistan's economic and social development, adding that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a vital pilot project under the initiative. He said Pakistan looks forward to cooperating closely with China to promote the CPEC's development.
Sharif noted that the CPEC's first construction phase has met Pakistan's energy needs, saying Pakistan seeks to attract Chinese advanced technology and investment, and bolster Pakistan's industrialization.
Sharif also spoke highly of the Global Development Initiative (GDI) and the Global Security Initiative proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping. He believes that the GDI provides important opportunities to help achieve prosperity and development for all countries.
"China's GDI is a very noble cause, and it is going to contribute to world peace and prosperity," he said, adding that there can be no development without security.
Pakistan is very supportive of both initiatives and looks forward to actively participating in future related meetings, said the prime minister.
Sharif said President Xi Jinping is a visionary leader with a strong will and broad vision. He looks forward to working closely with Xi and hopes to continue to learn from his experience and philosophy of state governance.
Sharif said that the Communist Party of China has been developing for more than 100 years, leading China to become the second-largest economy in the world and eradicate absolute poverty, which are remarkable achievements worth learning for Pakistan.
He said China's dynamic zero-COVID policy prioritizes people and life.
China has provided substantial support to Pakistan during the COVID-19 pandemic, offering vaccines and other epidemic prevention materials, as well as sending experts to assist in the country's anti-pandemic fight, he added.
The prime minister also said his government attaches great importance to the security of Chinese nationals in Pakistan, adding that the Pakistani Interior Ministry is in contact with all provinces to ensure their safety.
Sharif said any attempt to undermine the Pakistan-China friendship would not succeed. ■