Pak President Zardari to visit China in October

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Islamabad, Sep 22: Asif Ali Zardari, the newly elected President of Pakistan will hold strategic talks with Chinese leaders during his visit to Beijing in October, 2008. The dates of the visit are being worked out but it would take place in mid-October said the sources.

It is learnt that during his visit Zardari is likely to negotiate a nuclear deal similar to that of Indo-Us nuclear deal and discuss ways of boosting bilateral trade and investment. Pakistan is already operating a 300-MW nuclear power plant in southern Punjab, which was constructed in 1990s with Chinese assistance while the second plant of similar capacity is under construction near the first one.

The President will also discuss ways to enhance cooperation in joint ventures, hi-tech industry, telecom and mining industry. The visit is seen by observers as significant in the context of stepped-up US raids inside Pakistan.

"Under the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Good Neighbourly Relations signed by the two countries in 2005, China promised to help Pakistan defend its sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity", Dawn newspaper quoted officials as saying.

Pakistan-China defence co-operation has always been important component of their relations. The tradition of high-level exchange of visits for consultations between the armed forces of the two countries has sustained the relations. In recent years, a mechanism of defence and security consultations has been institutionalised.


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