President Asif Ali Zardari on Monday called for taking Pakistan-China trade and commercial ties to new heights as the two countries were natural partners in the economic growth of the region.
"Strengthening and expanding cooperation with China in all fields is one of the key principles guiding Pakistan’s foreign policy,” Zardari said during his meeting with a Chinese delegation led by Huang Xinoxiang, the vice governor of Sichuan province.
Referring to his four visits to China since assuming office in 2008, Zardari said Pakistan continued to learn from the Chinese economic and development miracle and benefit from its expertise in diverse areas of agriculture, education, communications, commerce, energy and industry, Associated Press of Pakistan reported.
He said the current level of bilateral trade of $7 billion was much below the potential and urged that it be ramped to $15 billion by 2011.
Zardari's remarks came on the day Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, speaking at a function in Karachi, also lauded Pakistan's growing ties with China.
"The unique characteristics of this relationship have been that it is based on the principle of non-interference in each others internal affairs and it is not directed against any country,” he said at the induction ceremony of the Chinese-built frigate PNS Shamsheer.
“These mutually respected principles...have combined to strengthen our relations, which has helped ensure stability and equilibrium in our region for the past six decades,” Gilani added.