China and Pakistan
The strategic partnership between the People's Republic of China and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan maintained the sound momentum of growth. Traditional friendship between the two countries further deepened and exchanges and cooperation in various fields made new progress.
The two countries had frequent high level exchanges which further enhanced their traditional friendship. In April, President Hu Jintao met with Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani while attending the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington D. C. In December, Premier Wen Jiabao paid an official visit to Pakistan. During the visit, Premier Wen held official talks with Prime Minister Gilani, met with President Asif Ali Zardari, Chairman of the Senate Farooq Hamid Naek, Speaker of the National Assembly Fehmida Mirza as well as leaders of main political parties and the military, and delivered a speech at the National Assembly of Pakistan. Leaders of the two countries had in-depth exchange of views and reached broad consensus on further consolidating and deepening China-Pakistan all-weather strategic partnership and on major regional and international issues of shared interest. The two sides designated the year 2011 as the "Year of China-Pakistan Friendship" and made plans on celebrations in political, economic, cultural, educational and military fields. In June, Vice Premier Zhang Dejiang visited Pakistan, during which he held talks with Prime Minister Gilani and met with President Zardari and other Pakistani leaders. The two sides signed documents on cooperation in transportation, information technology, telecommunications and hydro power.
In July, President Zardari paid a working visit to China. During the visit, he had talks with President Hu Jintao and meetings with Premier Wen and CPPCC Chairman Jia Qinglin, and visited the Shanghai World Expo. In November, President Zardari attended the opening ceremony of the Guangzhou Asian Games and met with Premier Wen. Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly Faidal Karim Kundi, Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shad Madmodd Qureshi, Interior Minister Rahman Malik, leader of the Muslim League-N Nawaz Sharif and Chairman of JUI Fazalur Rehman also visited China on separate occasions.
Practical cooperation between the two countries kept moving forward. In December, the 14th meeting of the China-Pakistan Joint Economic Commission was successfully held in Islamabad. During Premier Wen's visit to Pakistan, the two sides decided to renew the Five Year Development Programme on Trade and Economic Cooperation, with focus on cooperation in infrastructure, energy and agriculture. The Chinese trade and investment promotion mission travelling with Premier Wen signed with Pakistani companies business agreements worth about US$10 billion. The two countries established an energy cooperation mechanism to advance cooperation in conventional energy, renewable energy and civilian nuclear energy. Positive progress was made in financial cooperation. The two sides agreed to conduct cooperation in currency swap. The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China decided to open branches in Islamabad and Karachi.
China took an active part in the rescue and relief work and reconstruction after Pakistan was hit by massive floods. The Chinese government pledged US$247 million in assistance to Pakistan, sent two rescue teams to Thatta in south Pakistan, and transported relief materials to Northern Areas of Pakistan. The People's Liberation Army of China provided the military of Pakistan with humanitarian material assistance worth RMB10 million yuan and sent medical teams and a helicopter rescue team. The Red Cross Society of China, women's federations, local governments, businesses and citizens of China made donations to Pakistan. During his visit to China, Premier Wen announced a package plan on China's participation in Pakistan's post-disaster reconstruction, with priority given to the national highway network post-flood rehabilitation project, the national project for improved rice processing, the national project for controlled atmosphere and advanced ventilated cold storage and the project of crop monitoring through remote imagery satellite. US$10 million in cash was earmarked to support the Citizen Damage Compensation Plan. China decided to provid US$100 million of concessional loan and US$300 million of preferential export buyer's credit for urgently needed projects in Pakistan.
Friendly exchanges and in-depth cooperation between the two militaries maintained the sound momentum of growth. In January, Deputy Chief of General Staff of the PLA General Ma Xiaotian visited Pakistan. In May, State Councillor and Defense Minister Liang Guanglie visited Pakistan. The Pakistani Chief of General Staff of the Army Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, Chief of General Staff of the Navy Noman Bashir and Chief of General Staff of the Air Force Rao Qamar Suleman visited China respectively. In July, the two armies held a joint counter-terrorism exercise "Friendship 2010" in Ningxia. In November, the Pakistani Air Force took part in and gave flight demonstrations at the International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition in Zhuhai, China.
The two countries had active exchanges and cooperation in culture, education, sports and other fields. They signed an MOU on establishing cultural centers in each other's country. One hundred Pakistani young people visited China for the fourth year in a row. And 424 Pakistani students studied in China under scholarships during the 2009--2010 academic year.
The two countries understood and supported each other on issues concerning their respective core interests. Pakistan firmly supports China's position on Taiwan, Tibet, Xinjiang and human rights. China respects the Pakistani people's choice of development path in light of their own national conditions and appreciates Pakistan's outstanding contribution to the fight against terrorism.
On 1 July, the new Chinese ambassador to Pakistan Liu Jian presented his credentials to President Zardari.