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Pak army chief meets top Chinese defence officials


Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao with Pakistani Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani in Beijing on Thursday. A Xinuha photo

BEIJING (PTI): All-weather friends, China and Pakistan pledged to strengthen their military ties and step up their defence cooperation to a "new level" as Pakistan's Army Chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani held talks with top Chinese military officials here on Thursday.

"China and Pakistan pledged to strengthen military ties and bring existing cooperation to a new level," state-run Xinhua news agency reported after Kayani's meeting with Chinese Defence Minister Gen Liang Guanglie here.

Kayani, who in the recent months hardened his stance towards cooperation with US and is locked in a political conflict with the civilian government over memo scandal, arrived here Wednesday on a five-day visit.

"China values its traditional friendship with Pakistan," Liang said, adding that Beijing hopes to develop pragmatic and effective cooperation with Pakistan in the national defence arena, the report said.

Liang said the bilateral "all-weather friendship" held between China and Pakistan is a strategic choice and is in accordance with the fundamental interests of both nations.

China hopes to safeguard regional peace and stability with Pakistan and contribute to the security and development of the two countries, he said.

Kayani said Pakistan attaches great importance to its relationship with China, adding that both countries have extensive common interests in both international and regional affairs.

Earlier Kayani held talks with Gen Ma Xiaotian, deputy Chief of Staff of the People's Liberation Army (PLA).

Ma was recently in India to take part in the second round of defence dialogue between the two countries.

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Pakistan  China  Military  

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