Sino-Pak cooperation: 9 agreements, 4 MoU's signed

Published: December 17, 2010
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Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani shakes hands with his Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao at the Prime Minister House in Islamabad. PHOTO: AFP

Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani shakes hands with his Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao at the Prime Minister House in Islamabad. PHOTO: AFP

Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani shakes hands with his Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao at the Prime Minister House in Islamabad. PHOTO: AFP Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao (C) inspects a guard of honour during a welcoming ceremony at the Pakistani military Chaklala airbase in Rawalpindi on December 17, 2010. PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani on Wednesday held a one-on-one meeting with the Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao which was followed by delegation-level talks between the two countries.

The delegation-level talks resulted in Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) and nine agreements being signed. Cooperation in defence, trade, economy, energy, transportation and agriculture were reportedly reached.

Federal Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira, while addressing the media after the delegation-level talks, said that the most important agreements signed were relating to post-flood reconstruction, with 36 areas being identified and agreed on for development.

The information minister said that China also offered $229 million for Pakistan’s communication infrastructure. He added that the Chinese government has agreed to provde ‘soft’ loans worht $400 million.

Kaira also said that repair and widening of the Karakoram Highway will take place at at a faster pace.

The Chinese premier’s visit is aimed at boosting trade and investment by finalising deals woth $20 billion. He arrived in Pakistan earlier today for a three-day visit and was accompanied by a huge business delegation.

Wen is the first Chinese premier in five years to visit Pakistan. He is coming from talks in India, where relations have been clouded by sensitive trade and territorial issues. The Pakistan leg of the Chinese visit may be less politically fraught as Pakistan regards China as its closest foreign ally.

The Chinese delegation’s plane landed under blanket security as Pakistan marks Ashura, which was last year marred by a bomb at a Karachi religious procession that killed 43 people.

Wen was greeted on the airport red carpet by Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, a military guard of honour and a host of cabinet ministers.

The government says China has already agreed to development projects worth $13.2 billion in energy, agriculture, infrastructure and health, and wants trade to climb from seven billion to $18 billion in five years.

Yet the target is dwarfed by Wen’s agreement with India to double bilateral trade to $100 billion by 2015 and to push Indian exports in an effort to bridge a trade surplus of $20 billion a year in China’s favour.

“Work on projects worth 14 billion dollars is continuing at present, while projects of another 20 billion dollars will be signed between the two sides during the visit,” a government official told AFP.

Wen is to sign the raft of agreements with President Asif Ali Zardari, address a joint session of the Pakistani parliament, and attend a business cooperation summit during his visit.

China is also a key source of military hardware for Pakistan.

Behind the scenes, talks are also believed to be planned on China building a one-gigawatt nuclear power plant as part of Pakistani plans to produce 8,000 megawatts of electricity by 2025 and overcome acute energy shortages.

The West has expressed concern about the security of Pakistan’s nuclear material, but China has built a 300-megawatt nuclear power reactor at Chashma in central Punjab province and another of the same capacity is under way.

Without going into details, officials in Pakistan admit the country has a civil nuclear cooperation agreement with China, a counter-weight to India’s agreement with the United States on nuclear energy cooperation.

Pakistan depends on China’s financial and political clout to offset the perceived threat from rival India and rescue its economy from the doldrums of catastrophic flooding, a severe energy crisis and poor foreign investment.

“The major breakthrough is expected to take place in the banking sector,” Pakistan’s ambassador to China, Masood Khan, told state television.

Reports say Wen will open a branch of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), the top private bank in China.

Pakistan’s prime minister has expressed hope that bilateral trade will rise to between 15 and 18 billion dollars over the next five years.

But security issues will also likely weigh on the agenda. China has been concerned about the threat of Islamist militants infiltrating its territory from Pakistan, particularly in its western Xinjiang region.

Despite the massive trade deals struck by Wen’s delegation in India, there appeared little progress on easing tensions between the world’s two most populous countries.

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Reader Comments (35)

  • Syed A. Mateen
    Dec 17, 2010 - 2:52PM

    The friendship between Pakistan and People’s Republic of China is un-ending. China is the real friend of Pakistan and has always helped Pakistan when there was a need.

    As a citizen of Pakistan, I warmly welcome the Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and his entourage and hope that both the countries would enhance bilateral trade, economic cooperation, transfer of technology to generate adequate electricity and will enhance people to people contact.

    What we need in Pakistan is to open up more institutes of Chinese Language, so that Pakistani business community whenever they go to China, they should be able to speak to their Chinese counterparts in their native language.

    Pak-China Friendship ZindabadRecommend

  • Nomad27
    Dec 17, 2010 - 3:43PM

    China is in a pragmatic and progressive stage of its development. Pakistan needs to move beyond touting this relationship as friends, to a much more integrated one. While good cooperation exists at a governmental level, the Chinese, who are increasingly becoming global in their view, need to feel that we are also share some common people to people objectives. As a nationality in China we are irrelevant. We need to have a vision, where our talent is also directed with language skills to places like Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong. Can we use this trip, to shape a larger view as China as a model, rather than the usual western capitalism model.
    But this government has other issues at hand, like how much money it can make next week and if it can survive to do so!
    Another day, another time maybe?Recommend

  • Pakistani
    Dec 17, 2010 - 4:27PM

    Hope it brings a positive impact.Recommend

  • Raju
    Dec 17, 2010 - 5:55PM

    Don’t just ask for help , be trading partner !!! Do not be dependent on any body . India and China are not at same page on most of issues still great business partner worth 60bilion$ last year Friendship must be on equal terms As is important what China is giving to Pak equally is important what Pak is giving to China [except its geographical position against India ]Recommend

  • Ali
    Dec 17, 2010 - 6:21PM

    Welcome to the Chinese leader… I wholeheartedly agree with above comments, we need to stengthen this relationship… have more people to people contact and open up many many Chinese language centres in Pakistan. We should teach Chinese to our school children if we want to get ahead and have stroonger relations with China…Recommend

  • Majid Maqsood
    Dec 17, 2010 - 6:31PM

    We welcome the Premier of China and no doubt China is considered true friend of Pakistan. commendable efforts of President zaradari has also made many agreements with China and we wish relations of both countries may cultivate in the best in best interest of two Nations. China can strengthen the fragile economy of Pakistan.
    China is also supporting Pakistani students in terms of scholarship for further study and it may be worked out for more strength because we are direly needed of PHDs in our universities for research work which has almost been stopped.Recommend

  • Cautious
    Dec 17, 2010 - 7:23PM

    The USA borrows money from China – then gives it to Pakistan – who then buys stuff from China. Wonder what happens when the American public says “enough”.Recommend

  • MS Hasan
    Dec 17, 2010 - 7:49PM

    Well i have not understood the meaning of true friendship……. countries only have common interests, so we should be smart enough to protect our interests…. since we have a common enemy and we both have also fought wars with the common enemy, thats what brings us even closer….. I guess we have always been used by others, dont be surprised if tomoro we are ditched by our time tested friend….Recommend

  • Faisal
    Dec 17, 2010 - 7:50PM

    @cautious

    In real terms US is not borrowing any money from anyone, US dollar is the world reserve currency, that makes US financially undisputable king.Recommend

  • Usman
    Dec 17, 2010 - 8:42PM

    I don’t understand why the Government of Pakistan has to go overboard with celebrations on the arrival of the Chinese PM on the 10th of Muharram. Had it been any other day, I wouldn’t have had a problem with us extending such a lavish and celebratory welcome. It’s like having a huge party at your place when a neighbor is dealing with a death of a loved one. I am not Shia myself but I respect the significance of Ashura. In my opinion, the festivities and grand celebrations could be avoided especially when it’s a time of mourning for a major portion of our society. Couldn’t the visit be coordinated for another date or time of the year? Just a thought!Recommend

  • Fajar
    Dec 17, 2010 - 8:54PM

    There is no permanent friend or foe, it is the interests of the countries which matters.Recommend

  • Tariq
    Dec 17, 2010 - 9:19PM

    India Time: Wen Jiabao under pressure to okay another PoK project during Pak tour http://toi.in/budarYRecommend

  • Aamer
    Dec 17, 2010 - 9:44PM

    @Usman

    Well we cant mourn for eternity can we. Sometimes we have to move forward its been centuries now, Muslims need to stop living in the past.Recommend

  • AM
    Dec 17, 2010 - 9:51PM

    Beware. There is no “great” friendship involved just as we now know that “democracy is not the best revenge”. Just as our “elected” officials only worry about their own bank accounts; China is only interested in its interests. If it weren’t, it would help its “friend” Pakistan establish industry and run a budget surplus instead of a perpetual budget deficit that Pakistan can not afford. Name a country with whom China runs a yearly or monthly deficit. Not one! And I don’t call that the second coming of a great saint. China is in it for its own and rightfully it should be and our leaders should look out for Pakistans best interests but they do not. I get this feeling we have a greater mischef value then any thing else and we may be doomed. We should be making more of an effort cozying up with India than any one else. We share more things in common with india than any other country! Thoughts?Recommend

  • abdul malik
    Dec 17, 2010 - 11:52PM

    first of all i’ll say to Chinese prime minister wel come in pakistan after i would like to talk about pakistan and china relationship. it is very positive thing that china have interested in pakistan and wants to invest in pakistani trade.thats prove china is our sincere friend and americansnot sincere with pakistan .we should increase our relationship with china. china can the strengthen the poor economy of pakistan. ppak china friendship zindabadRecommend

  • Student
    Dec 18, 2010 - 12:00AM

    “” Nine agreement signed “”

    Any agreement is related to Power ?
    Any agreement is related to Industry ?
    Any agreement is related to Transport ?
    Any agreement is related to Agriculture ?
    Any agreement is related by which Pakistan own industry growth ?
    Any agreement is related to DAM ?

    Any body is here who throw the light on signed agreement ?
    Why are we just laughing that we sign nine agreements.Recommend

  • Dec 18, 2010 - 12:20AM

    Why Paksitan’s flag is not in standard colors (Green & White). It seems no body cares if you exhibit the fancy flags.Recommend

  • Dec 18, 2010 - 2:22AM

    its good for PAKISTANRecommend

  • Raqib Ali
    Dec 18, 2010 - 2:24AM

    We welcome Chinese PM. Trade is the way forward..Recommend

  • Mawali
    Dec 18, 2010 - 2:52AM

    This is a significant visit and a very astute political statement by the Premier of now the second largest economy of the world. China is on a mission to be the sole super power of the World.
    It is doing so not by exporting its ideology around the World but by promoting its interests no matter the size or the significance of the nation. Where ever there are resources that China needs to tap into; you would find the Chinese presence. From Botswana in South to Equatorial New Guinea in the middle you would find the Chinese involved in all kinds of projects from building airports to building infrastructure. As an example, China likewise now is the biggest investor in the African continent.
    This is where the ideology heavy US missed the boat as it were. US is hell bent on democratizing and aligning nations to its own ideology and way of life. The US wants to be the gate keepers of the World. However, we now find that the gung-ho and reckless initiatives and interventions around the World is draining its now thin resources without winning friends and influencing people. In the process the good people of the US are paying the price through cuts and the ever declining lifestyle. China is now dictating to the US albeit symbolically.
    This visit is in many ways is indeed symbolic of China not snubbing anyone or “old friends” for new ones or new adventures unlike, the good ole USA. Just imagine the fact that though the US has over the years in monetary terms given more to the Pakistani’s than you could ever hope to extract out of the miserly Chinese. However, one small visit has given China a bigger bang for the Yen. In the process China has upstaged the US and specifically Mr. Obama as a World leader especially in the eyes of the ever wanting Pakistani’s. Now everyone wants to learn Mandarin. Ain’t life great Mr. Jiabao, sit up and take notice Mr. Obama!Recommend

  • Muhammad
    Dec 18, 2010 - 4:58AM

    The Chinese are not to be trusted. They are suppressing Islam in xinjiang province more brutally than even Israel, America or India and our muslim uighur brothers are oppressed there. Pakistan govt is acting like a slave of Chinese who suppress Islam in their own country and befriend us for their own interests in Pakistan being a proxy for them to fight India.Recommend

  • Muhammad Farooq
    Dec 18, 2010 - 7:52AM

    China is moving towards High-Tech industry very soon. Pakistan is best place for re-shifting of China’s existing industry. Pakistan should provide a rail link from China to Gawadar Port other investment opportunities. This will definitely boost economic opportunities for both countries. This is the time we should all put a side our differences for National Interest. The time is running out.Recommend

  • Umair Waheed Sheikh, Khayban e Hafiz,IBA Karachi
    Dec 18, 2010 - 9:42AM

    All of this is a gimmick. Why don’t they announce what the projects are instead of coming up with figures from thin air!
    China hasnt helped Pakistan at all. I believe currently it is only the US which is helping Pakistan. Look at the floods, the earthquake etc? Did we see chinese Chinooks bringing to safety millions of people? No. China has not even provided us any loans especially when our reserves were going down. China is not a dependable ally. It wants Pakistan to look after its interests and not pay up too!
    It was Pakistan which helped China in its relations with the US in the 70’s and look at how the Chinese are repaying us? They have implicitly said that the Kashmir issue is an issue between the Indians and Pakistanis and should be solved bilaterally. China is a sellout.

    (Pls moderators publish this comment instead of deleting it)Recommend

  • khalid mahmood
    Dec 18, 2010 - 10:11AM

    Pakistan and china are time tested friends but the nature of international relations have changed.Trade and economic realitities now dictate relations.friendships is only mantained if two are on equal footing.pakistan has to strengthen herself economicaly and politically to make this friendship sustainable otherwise oneway trafic in not possible any more.Look China a closest ally of Pakistan now says about the resolution of Kashmir issuue should be resolved bilaterallyRecommend

  • khan
    Dec 18, 2010 - 10:32AM

    the Chinese premier visit to Pakistan is seen by many as friendship and other as partners.it sounds good as there are instances when china has come to help Pakistan in critical times but we should not forget that it is not china that is dying for Pakistan but it is their interest and their business and benefits from Pakistan which is creating it more and more attractive. so one should develop a pragmatic approach rather than jingoism for china. china and its friendship are timely based and they are taking much benefit from us rather than we are getting from them.Recommend

  • Dec 18, 2010 - 12:24PM

    I would only say
    “China saved the day” again for us.Recommend

  • Dec 18, 2010 - 3:19PM

    It’s an auspicious occasion for Pakistan to forge well-knit ties with the would be Super-Power of the world.Power is in the process of shifting to the East.It is high time we extricate ourselves from the role of a henchman which USA always has designed @ desired for us to play.It has penetrated too deep into our structures of power @ body politic. Moreover it very visibly harbours neo-colonial @ hegemonic ambitions.It might have created a heaven for its own people but in the international arena, it is playing a warlike role @ manages to create devastation around the world.The mantle of Western Imperialism has now been donned by US.It is the unfortunate legacy of domination, control @ ruthless exploitation.It wants to continue in Nietzsche’s terms with a .master-slave morality.
    Like a phoenix,modern China has resurrected from the matrix of a diachronic civilization.It enshrines eastern values of love, peaceful co-existence,non-violence @ non-interference in others’ affairs.We also hail from an ancient @ glorious civilization.It is the dominance of Western values that have dis-orientated @ corrupted us.After all it was not all for nothing that Schopenhauer @then in his footsteps Nietzsche were highly bewitched by old Indian Philosophy @ civilization.Nietzsche professed his ideal of becoming the Budha of Europe.Toyanbee in Ikeda-Toyanbee dialogue has accepted the superiority of Eastern civilizations @ values which holds the potentiality of leading mankind out of the present morass. Recommend

  • R. Querishi
    Dec 18, 2010 - 6:07PM

    We love China. Recommend

  • abhi
    Dec 19, 2010 - 2:47AM

    Did China help you in 71 ?Recommend

  • Abdullah
    Dec 19, 2010 - 9:41PM

    well to be straight…..Zardari done a good job to attract china to help our economyRecommend

  • Haroon Rashid
    Dec 20, 2010 - 1:32AM

    Pakistan nation looks towards Chinese premier visit Honorable Wen Jiabao to a new life in the country which was entrenched with debts, conspiracies, chaos to bring a ray of hope. Pakistan has always been looking towards for technology, licensing, with China. Our dependence on technology areas are proven in telecommunications with Huawei, ZTE, already playing a major role in the development of the de-regulated market. With FTA/PTA in various fields, products, businesses we look to co-operation in transport, environment, renewable energy, and of course the Civil Nuclear Power. The Chashma 300MW, and other plants are waiting. WE are very keen for cooperative research in Civilian Nuclear Power, agriculture, health care, water resources, bio-technology, crop sciences, etc.,

    Railways are very important to Pakistan. The worlds largest conglomerate which supplied train engines to Pakistan is said to be American. General Electric supplies the Chinese technologies to Pakistan and many other countries of the worldRecommend

  • RaqibAli
    Dec 20, 2010 - 7:06PM

    @ Abhi

    No. It was only India who helped us in 1971Recommend

  • mian mohammad shoaib
    Dec 20, 2010 - 8:34PM

    waiting for your response.mian mohammad shoaibRecommend

  • Rizkhs
    Jan 10, 2011 - 3:52PM

    That’s one big performance of Pakistani Govt.

    Pakistan industry needs to develop health, Sfaety and Environmental culture in all the sectors. Pakistani youth is looking towards the two nation’s leadership to have some development in this field. Pakistani tecnicians are to be traine and utilised in HSE activities.

    Pak China Dosti ZINDABAD. The Immortal Friendship.Recommend

  • Jan 25, 2011 - 12:53AM

    These days are very important for pakistan that anyone friends of pakistan come to pakistan and to give the asistance of every type ( means trade, investment,etc) because american foreign minister said that we are helping pakistan and gave the more asistance than anyone of pakistan’s friend.
    2010 Pakistan and China have a joint military drill for anti terrorism. China donates $260 million (USD) to flood hit Pakistan and further sends 4 military rescue helicopters to Pakistan to assist in rescue operations, it was the first time China has ever sent such rescue operations overseas. Sino-Pak relations proved to be “All-Weathered-Friends”.
    2010 On 6th July, 2010, President Asif Ali Zardari arrived in China on a five days official visit. Besides attending Shinghai Expo, the largest business festival ever, he also met Chinese President and strengthened bilateral ties to promote more trade between the two states.
    2010 Wen Jiabao visited Pakistan. More than 30 billion US dollars of deals were signed. Pakistan China friendship center was inaugurated in Islamabad by Prime Minister of China Wen Jiabao.BY Syed Shahrooz Shamim.Finally, these relation are not ideal but important for both.Recommend

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