BEIJING - China on Thursday said it would continue to stand firmly behind Pakistan’s efforts to uphold its sovereignty,independence and territorial integrity. In a joint statement titled “Deepening China-Pakistan Strategic and Economic Cooperation” issued on the State visit of President Mamnoon Hussain to Beijing, China also appreciated Pakistan’s consistent and staunch support on issues relating to China’s core interests. “China lauds the sacrifices rendered by the Pakistan side in fighting the global scourge of terrorism,” the joint statement quoted, besides mentioning Pakistan’s stance that it would continue to support China’s efforts in combating terrorism, extremism and separatism. President Mamnoon Hussain at the invitation of Chinese President Xi Jinping paid a State visit to the People’s Republic of China from February 18-21. During the visit, President Mamnoon Hussain held talks with President Xi Jinping and also met Premier Li Keqiang of China’s State Council and Chairman Zhang Dejiang of the Standing Committee of China’s National People’s Congress. The Pakistani side described its friendship with China as the cornerstone of its foreign policy. President Mamnoon Hussain said that support for this unique relationship resonated across Pakistan at the official, political parties as well as popular levels. Pakistan reaffirmed its unwavering support for one-China policy and reiterated its opposition to any attempt to undermine China’s sovereignty. The joint statement mentioned that Pakistan recognised the East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM) as a terrorist organisation, which poses a common threat to the peace and stability of China and Pakistan. Pakistan appreciated China’s forthright position on Pakistan’s counter-terrorism strategy and efforts. It valued the generous support the Chinese people and government always extended for the socio-economic development and projects of national importance in Pakistan. The Chinese side appreciated President Mamnoon Hussain’s decision to make China the destination of his first State visit.They reiterated that China attached highest priority to its relationship with Pakistan, asserting that China is committed to deepening the strategic and cooperative partnership with Pakistan. The two sides expressed satisfaction at the development of China-Pakistan relations. They agreed that the relationship had outgrown its bilateral dimension to acquire regional and global significance. The two sides agreed that, as all-weather strategic and cooperative partners, China and Pakistan would jointly strive for more friendly political relations, stronger economic bonds, deeper security cooperation and closer people-to-people contacts, and work together for the goal of “the China-Pakistan Community of Shared Destiny”.It was decided that China and Pakistan would continue to deepen cooperation in existing areas of cooperation while exploring new avenues for win-win and practical collaboration in line with the principles, set forth in the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Good-Neighbourly Relations, signed by the two countries in 2005. The two countries also agreed to fully utilise the Foreign Ministers exchange of visits, Strategic Dialogue and other consultative mechanisms to enhance coordination and cooperation on all bilateral, multilateral and global issues. China and Pakistan agreed to support an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned political reconciliation process in Afghanistan, and continue to work closely with the international community for the promotion of peace and stability in Afghanistan.Pakistan and China resolved to translate the high-level of mutual trust and cooperation that exists at the political plane into practical cooperation which was result-oriented and delivered prosperity to the peoples of both countries. Both noted with satisfaction the progress made in establishing the institutional mechanisms that would support the Economic Corridor. The Joint Cooperation Committee on the Long-Term Plan for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor had been activated while the Working Groups on Planning, Transport Infrastructure and Energy had held successful inaugural sessions. During this visit, the second session of the Joint Cooperation Committee was held successfully. It was agreed that the Economic Corridor, by combining China and Pakistan’s respective development strategy, would be conducive to their goals of developing economy and improving people’s livelihood as well as bring benefits to regional common development and prosperity. The leaders of China and Pakistan urged the relevant offices on both sides to work on the Economic Corridor on a speedy basis.The two sides should work together to ensure that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor starts to take practical shape soon and yields tangible benefits. China and Pakistan also agreed to fully implement the Additional Agreement to extend the Five-Year Development Programme on China-Pakistan Trade and Economic Cooperation and the two countries Free Trade Agreement. The two sides would work together to put the projects, identified under the 2nd China-Pakistan Five-Year Development Programme into implementation.The Chinese side also assured Pakistan of its full support in helping the latter address its energy deficit, which was a major impediment to Pakistan’s socio-economic development. The Chinese side will continue to encourage and support China’s state-owned enterprises and private companies to explore investment opportunities in Pakistan’s conventional and renewable energy sectors.China and Pakistan agreed to step up cooperation in areas, such as agriculture, health, education and public transport, which have a direct bearing on people’s lives. Accelerating the implementation of the agreement on setting up China-Pakistan Agriculture Demonstration Zones would be an important step forward in this regard.The Pakistan side expressed its appreciation for the contributions of Chinese enterprises and nationals working on major infrastructure and development projects in Pakistan. The Chinese side appreciated the Government of Pakistan’s commitment to ensuring the safety and security of Chinese citizens and investments in Pakistan.The two sides reiterated their resolve to implement the Agreement on Maritime Cooperation. They underscored the importance of implementing the 2012-2020 Space Cooperation Outline between China National Space Administration and Pakistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission to enhancing bilateral cooperation in the sphere of space research and technology. Both sides maintained that defence cooperation was an important part of China-Pakistan all-weather strategic cooperation, and agreed to further enhance practical cooperation in defence technology.This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 21-Feb-2014 here.