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Interview: Zardari hopes to pass Pakistan-China friendship to new generation

11-11-2010 09:46 BJT

ISLAMABAD, Nov. 10 (Xinhua) -- On the eve of his sixth visit to China as Pakistani president, Asif Ali Zardari Wednesday wished that the long-standing relations between the two friendly neighbors should be continued and be transferred to the next generation.

"We have a tried and time-tested friendship. The whole idea of my visiting China is to continue the relations and transform it to young generation that's why my son is joining me in China," Zardari told Xinhua in an interview.

Upon the 60th anniversary of the diplomatic ties between the two nations, the president said Pakistan is mapping out plans to mark the year of 2011 with celebrations and activities.

Speaking highly of the bilateral ties between Pakistan and China,he said the ruling Pakistan People's Party has also been close to China for long since the era of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, the party founder and the father of Benazir Bhutto, Zardari's late wife.

The president said he feels like going home whenever he pays visit to China. "I think I have an internal romance with China. I am very biased and I love every part of it, the beauty of its people and the beauty of its culture," he said.

He appealed more investment from China and expected that Pakistan will be the destination for Chinese companies to put up industries, adding that he has seen the growth of China as an engine of growth in the region.

Zardari appreciated China's relief aid to the flooded Pakistani people in this summer, saying that China has always been concerned and focused in helping Pakistan through difficult times in a constructive manner.

He hoped China would help redevelop the infrastructure in the flood-ravaged areas in Pakistan.

Presenting a map of Asia, the president said China and Pakistan could get far closer when they are linked by land roads, and more traveling fatigue could be avoided.

"It is my dream to go to China by road but that has not been realized yet, I have been trying for this many years," he said.

Zardari said China will get a new market if connected with Pakistan by quality roads or by railway. He said a gas pipeline, from the southwestern Pakistani port of Gwadar to Xinjiang in western China, is also under study and research.

Invited to attend Friday's opening ceremony of the 16th Asian Games in Guangzhou, the president said it is a great chance for the Asian countries to get together with harmony and unity, and for the youth to mingle together and to learn from each other.

He hoped that Pakistani athletes would do well and win medals in squash, tennis, boxing, hockey and even Kabaddi competitions.

As to his personal favorite sports, the president said he likes polo and squash but he could not win any of the games.

Editor:Jin Lin |Source: Xinhua

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