China, Pakistan ink 20 pacts, boost ties
Beijing: “Iron friends” China and Pakistan today inked 20 agreements amounting to Chinese investment reportedly worth about USD 46 billion, as Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif held wide-ranging talks with the leadership here.
Sharif, who is here to take part in the neighbourhood leaders conference being organised by China on the sidelines of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders meeting, held talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang.
Terming China and Pakistan as “iron friends”, Xi, who cancelled his to visit to Islamabad during his South Asia tour in September due to tense confrontation between the government and the opposition parties in Islamabad, told Sharif that the two countries will continue to support each other and strengthen cooperation. “Iron friends” is a term frequently used in China to mean trustworthy friends whose friendship is as solid as iron.
Some Chinese netizens have coined the phrase of “Iron Paks” to refer to Pakistanis, Xi was quoted as telling Sharif.
Besides issues related to China's concerns over terrorist attacks in Xinjiang with militants infiltration from across the border in Pakistan, the two leaders discussed the emerging situation in Afghanistan in view of the US plans to pullout its troops from the war-torn country, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.