Li: China puts Pakistan ties a diplomacy priority

Premier Li Keqiang said on Thursday that China will work with Pakistan to promote practical cooperation in various areas, urging the South Asian nation to do its utmost to ensure the safety of Chinese people and organizations there.

Li made the remarks in a phone conversation with Pakistani Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif.

During the phone talks, the two leaders exchanged New Year greetings and views on the bilateral relationship.

Li said that the China-Pakistan friendship has withstood the test of international vicissitudes and has grown even stronger.

Noting China always considers its relationship with Pakistan a priority in its diplomacy regarding neighbors, Li said that it will, as always, support Pakistan in upholding its national independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and legitimate interests, and support its efforts to maintain domestic solidarity and stability to achieve national development and rejuvenation.

China will work with Pakistan on pragmatic cooperation in key fields, support its efforts to develop the economy and improve people's well-being, he added.

The Pakistani leader thanked China for its huge support and assistance to his country in the fight against floods and vowed to strengthen bilateral cooperation in all areas and push forward the Pakistan-China relationship to a higher level.

Sharif said that Pakistan adheres to the one-China principle and firmly supports China on all issues that concern China's core interests.