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Remarks by President Hu Jintao at the Welcoming Banquet Hosted by President Musharraf

President Pervez Musharraf and Mrs. Musharraf,

Prime Minister Aziz and Mrs. Aziz,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Dear Friends,

On behalf of my wife and my colleagues and in my own name, I wish to thank you, Mr. President and Mrs. Musharraf, for hosting this grand welcoming banquet. I also wish to thank you, President Musharraf, for the warm and friendly remarks you have just made.

I am very glad to visit Pakistan, a friendly neighbor of China, at the invitation of President Musharraf on the occasion of the 55th anniversary of China-Pakistan diplomatic relations. Since arrival in your beautiful country, we have been overwhelmed by the warm welcome of the Pakistani Government and people and by your friendship toward China. Here, I would like to express, on behalf of the Chinese people, best wishes to the brotherly Pakistani people.

Pakistan has made persistent and determined effort to pursue national development since it gained independence 59 years ago. The great Pakistani people have worked with perseverance and in a pioneering spirit to uphold national dignity and sovereignty and achieved great progress in development. In the new century, the Pakistani people, rallying under the leadership of President Musharraf, have effectively responded to serious and complex developments both at home and internationally and made remarkable accomplishments in maintaining social stability and promoting economic development and ethnic harmony. As Pakistan's close neighbor and friend, China hails its achievements and wishes the Pakistani people new and even greater progress in the years to come.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Dear Friends,

China and Pakistan are close neighbors sharing the same mountains, and our peoples enjoy a long-standing friendship. In the past 55 years since the establishment of diplomatic ties, we have forged an all-weather friendship and have been engaged in all-round cooperation based on mutual understanding, respect, trust and support. China-Pakistan relations stand as an example of friendly coexistence and mutually beneficial cooperation between countries with differing social systems. We are good neighbors, close friends, trusted partners and dear brothers.

China is proud to have in Pakistan a great and true friend. As we review our relations, both past and present, we cannot but recall with admiration the leaders of the older generations in both countries who laid the solid foundation for promoting China-Pakistan friendship and cooperation and thus left us an invaluable asset. Let us build on past achievement and strengthen traditional friendship, advance with the time, expand and enrich China-Pakistan strategic partnership so that our friendship will pass on from generation to generation.

In conclusion, may I wish the Chinese and Pakistani peoples ever-lasting friendship, and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan prosperity and its people happiness! I would like also to wish the President and Mrs. Musharraf, the Prime Minister and Mrs. Aziz good health and every success!

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