ISLAMABAD - President Asif Ali Zardari Thursday congratulated the Communist Party of China for smoothly electing its new Central Committee and the new Chinese leadership.

In a message, the President congratulated the new Secretary General of the Central Committee Xi Jinping and said: "The smooth transition of Chinese leadership reflects the wisdom and maturity of the Chinese people."

The President expressed confidence that China would continue to progress under its leadership. "I am also sure that our bilateral relations would grow further under the new leadership."

The President, in his message, on behalf of the people of Pakistan, the government, and his own behalf, congratulated the outgoing leadership of China on successfully completing its term.

He said the week-long deliberations of the 18th Congress of the party were watched with great interest not only in China, but throughout the world because of its importance.

He said China has become the second largest economy of the world under its dynamic leadership.

The President recalled that during the past four years he had several productive meetings with Chinese leaders and said he has also been in contact with the new Chinese leadership.

He said during his last visit to Beijing in June this year, Xi Jinping hosted a dinner for him. He said he also met Li Keqiang in Urumqi last year.

The President said Pakistan and China were tied together with bonds of friendship, mutual trust and respect. He expressed satisfaction to see these bonds strengthen with the passage of time.

He wished the new Chinese leadership all success in their efforts to lead China to even greater glory.

Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf also lauded the Communist Party of China on the election of its new Central Committee.

In his message of felicitation to the new Secretary General of the Central Committee, Xi Jinping, the Prime Minister expressed the confidence that the existing exemplary relations between the two countries would be further strengthened.

Ashraf also paid rich tributes to the contributions of the outgoing leadership of the Central Committee in strengthening and enhancing relations with Pakistan.