China and Pakistan agreed on Monday to build closer ties and facilitate the construction of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
The pledges were made during Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan's meeting with Song Tao, head of the International Department of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee.
Khan said the new Pakistani government sees the relations with China as the priority and corner stone of its diplomacy, and is willing to enhance bilateral ties with China and jointly push forward the construction of CPEC.
He said his government is willing to further strengthen relations between the two countries' ruling parties, learn from CPC's experience in party and country governance, and bring benefits to peoples of the two countries.
For his part, Song said China and Pakistan are "iron friends" and China treasures the bilateral friendship with Pakistan.
He said China is ready to join hands with Pakistan to facilitate the construction of CPEC under the Belt and Road Initiative and to build closer bilateral ties.
Song said the CPC is willing to enhance communication and cooperation with Khan's ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party, and play a political guiding role in China-Pakistan ties and CPEC construction.
During his visit to Pakistan, Song also held meetings with Chairman of the Senate Sadiq Sanjrani, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Zubair Mahmood Hayat, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and leaders of main political parties.
CPEC WAS NOT THE CAUSE OF FINANCIAL DIFFICULTIES
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said Monday that China will work with Pakistan to promote the construction of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects.
Lu made the remarks when commenting on reported Pakistan's saying yes to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout.
From the debt structure announced by the Pakistani government, debt of CPEC projects accounted for a very low proportion of Pakistan's debt composition and was not the cause of the country's financial difficulties, Lu said.
He said the CPEC was a project constructed by the two governments in accordance with the principles of achieving shared benefits through extensive consultation and joint contribution. The project selection and financing arrangements were determined by equal consultation between the two sides.
As a member of the IMF, China supports the organization in making objective evaluation of Pakistan based on professionalism, and effectively assisting Pakistan in properly coping with current difficulties, he said.
Lu added that relevant moves by the IMF should not affect normal bilateral cooperation between China and Pakistan.