ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Friday said that Pakistan deeply values China’s support on issues of Pakistan’s national security and territorial integrity.“China-Pakistan economic corridor would not only benefit both nations, but also transform the region’s economy and dovetail perfectly with the strategy of developing and connecting the south and central Asian regions of the world,” the Prime Minister made these remarks in a meeting with Chinese Defence Minister General Chang Wanquan who called on him at the PM House. The meeting was also attended by Defence Minister Khawaja Asif and Special Assistant to PM Tariq Fatmi.Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif said that China and Pakistan enjoy a unique relationship. He appreciated the Chinese support for the projects included in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor in the recent Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC). “Solid foundation for our time tested and all-weather friendship is provided by strong mutual trust, excellent cooperation and convergence of views on regional and global issues,” the PM added. The PM said that security of Chinese nationals is an utmost priority for Pakistan and the government has taken all possible steps to provide them security. The PM also expressed his confidence that Pakistan-China cooperation, including in the field of defence, will continue to grow to the benefit of both the countries.Later, Chinese Defence Minister reiterated his government’s support for Pakistan. Meanwhile, President Mamnoon Hussain conferred the award of Hilal-e-Pakistan on General Chang Wanquan, State Councillor and Minister for National Defence China, during a special investiture ceremony held at Aiwan-e-Sadr.The President conferred the award on General Chang Wanquan in recognition of his role and meritorious services for further promoting the already existing close bonds of friendship especially defence cooperation between Pakistan and China.The special investiture ceremony was attended among others by Vice Admiral Du Jingehen, Chief of Staff of the Navy, Maj Gen Liu Lei, Political Commissioner of Xingiang Military Region, Maj Gen Song Dan, Dy DG of Gen Office of the Central Military Commission, Sun Weidong, Chinese Ambassador in Pakistan, high officials of the Chinese embassy and members of the delegation of the Chinese defence minister.The citation read on the occasion said that General Chang Wanquan, a great friend of Pakistan, played an important role in further strengthening bonds between the People’s Liberation Army of China and Armed forces of Pakistan besides promoting bilateral defence cooperation. “In recognition of his meritorious services to the cause of strengthening Pak-China relations, the President of Islamic Republic of Pakistan is pleased to confer the award of ‘Hilal-e-Pakistan on General Chang Wanquan, State Councillor and Defence Minister China. Later the Chinese Defence Minister, General Chang Wanquan along with his delegation called on the President and discussed bilateral relations particularly defence cooperation and other matters of mutual interest. Discussing bilateral ties, the President said that the time- tested friendship between Pakistan and China was solidly anchored on convergence of strategic interests, commonality of views on regional and international issues, high degree of mutual trust and are driven by an abiding interest in progress and prosperity of each other as well as promotion of peace and stability in the region.Recalling his recent visit to China, the President said that he had very fruitful and productive discussion with the Chinese leadership on a wide range of bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interest and expressed hope that the visit would help further deepen bilateral trade and economic cooperation. Pakistan was keen to learn from the Chinese economic and development miracle and benefit from its expertise in diverse areas of defence, energy, industry, agriculture, communications and commerce and trade, the President stated. Underscoring the importance of greater connectivity between the two countries, the President said that the ongoing gigantic project of China -Pakistan Economic corridor, would transform the entire region into a vibrant trade, energy and economic corridor besides further boosting Pak- China bilateral trade to new heights. Expressing satisfaction on the growing Pak-China defence relations, the President said that Pakistan appreciates the valuable assistance of China in our efforts to achieve self-reliance in defence field.The President on the occasion thanked the Chinese government and leadership for its proactive role in socio economic development and strategic stability of Pakistan. Appreciating the contributions of Chinese nationals, engineers and workers, for economic development of Pakistan, the President said that the Government of Pakistan accords highest priority to the security of Chinese nationals and assured that the government has undertaken all possible steps for their safety and security. General Chang Wanquan thanked the President and government of Pakistan for decorating him with the award of Hilal-e-Pakistan and said that strategic partnership between China and Pakistan would continue to further deepen with each passing day.This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 01-Mar-2014 here.