SHANGHAI - President Mamnoon Hussain on Thursday said that the multifaceted strategic partnership between Pakistan and China with increased focus on economic and trade ties would usher in a new era of socio-economic progress and prosperity for the people of both the countries and the region. During his meeting with the Chinese President, Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the fourth Summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA), in Shanghai, President Mamnoon Hussain said that the govt and the people of Pakistan highly value their relations with China which are unparalleled in the contemporary era of inter-State relations. Mamnoon reiterated that strengthening and deepening friendship with China is the cornerstone of Pakistan's foreign policy,adding, that there exists across-the-board political and public agreement on maintaining strong equation with China. Giving details of the meeting, Press Secretary to the President Ms. Saba Mohsin Raza said that the two leaders held wide-ranging discussions on bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interest. At the outset of the meeting, President Mamnoon congratulated his Chinese counterpart on assuming the chair of the CICA. President Mamnoon expressed confidence that under able and dynamic leadership of President Xi Jinping, this important and growing forum will be further strengthened and would continue to play a more meaningful role in peace and development in Asia, and beyond. He assured Pakistan's support to his initiatives in this regard. The spokesperson said the two leaders agreed on further cementing bilateral cooperation encompassing all areas including energy, trade and investment, infrastructure development and people-to-people contacts. Recalling his first State visit to China in February this year, President Mamnoon said his second visit to China in four months and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's visit in April this year reflects the importance Pakistan accords to the relations with China and expressed hope that the high level interaction would give further impetus to the already existing strong strategic partnership between the two countries. The two leaders expressed satisfaction on the current state of China Pakistan Economic corridor project and urged for expeditious completion of the already identified and mutually agreed projects of the Economic corridor on fast track basis. They observed that the gigantic project would turn the entire region into a vibrant trade, energy and economic corridor besides boosting Pak- China bilateral trade to new heights and emphasised on collective efforts on both side to ensure that the Economic Corridor Project starts to take practical shape soon and yields tangible benefits to the people of the two countries and the region. President Mamnoon Hussain invited President Xi Jinping to visit Pakistan and said that the people of Pakistan are anxiously looking forward to his first State visit to Pakistan this year. Those present during the meeting included Mian Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif, Chief Minister Punjab, Syed Tariq Fatemi, Special Assistant to PM, Secretary Foreign affairs, Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry and Pakistan's Ambassador to China , Masood Khalid.This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 23-May-2014 here.