Xi Jinping greets Imran Khan before a meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Sunday. Madoka Ikegami/ Reuters
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan met Chinese President Xi Jinping on Sunday for bilateral talks, with the latter saying Beijing considers Islamabad a priority in its diplomacy.
"Pakistan is China's all-weather strategic cooperative partner. China and Pakistan are 'iron friends' and have always firmly supported each other on issues concerning each other's core interests," Xi said after meeting Khan at the Great Hall of the People.
Major progress has been made in bilateral cooperation in construction of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), finance, trade and other aspects, Xinhua news agency quoted the President as saying.
"In the next stage, China and Pakistan should make more efforts to advance the all-weather strategic cooperation," Xi said, calling on both sides to deepen high-level contacts and mutual support within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
In response to Xi's remarks, Khan said the CPEC had played an important role in his country's economic development and improvement of people's lives.
Pakistan was ready to consolidate its friendship with China, deepen pragmatic cooperation and enhance communication and coordination in multilateral affairs, he added.
They also exchanged views on South Asia situation. Xi expressed the hope that Pakistan and India would meet each other halfway and promote stabilisation and improvement of relations.
After meeting Xi, Khan held talks with his Chinese counterpart Li Keqiang and attended the signing ceremony of bilateral agreements. On Saturday, Khan held talks with Chinese Vice-President Wang Qishan.
Khan is on a four-day visit to China during which he attended the second BRI Forum. He will leave for Pakistan on Sunday night.
Indo-Asian News Service
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