Vice-premier visits Pakistan, Nepal

Pakistani students hold national flags during a ceremony on Monday marking 70 years of independence.

[InKunming--China]  China hopes to deepen Belt and Road cooperation with Nepal and reach more consensus with the country, a Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said on Monday while commenting on Vice-Premier Wang Yang's ongoing trip to South Asia.

Wang arrived in Kathmandu, the capital, on Monday evening after wrapping up his visit to Pakistan. He will meet with Nepalese President Bidhya Devi Bhandari and Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba during the visit, spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a regular news conference on Monday.

Noting that China and Nepal are friendly neighbors, Hua said that the visit is an important high-level interaction between the two countries.

The visit is expected to push forward the implementation of consensus reached by the two countries and deepen cooperation under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative, she said.

The Belt and Road Initiative, proposed by President Xi Jinping in 2013, refers to the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, aiming at building a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with the rest of the world along the ancient trade routes of Silk Road.

Wang met with Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Kha¬qan Abbasi in Islamabad on Sunday, and the two sides vowed to deepen cooperation in various fields. Wang attended activities marking the 70th anniversary of Pakistan's independence on Monday.

Noting that China and Pakistan are "iron friends" and all-weather partners of strategic cooperation who always understand and support each other, Wang said Xi's successful visit to Pakistan in 2015 ushered in a new chapter of the relations between the two countries.

Vice-Premier Wang Yang and Pakistan's Interim Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi (center) arrive at a flag ceremony in Islamabad for Independence Day on Monday.

China would like to join hands with Pakistan to implement the important consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries and ensure that more fruitful results will be achieved in bilateral cooperation, he said.

With regard to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, a flagship project under the Belt and Road Initiative, Wang expressed hope the two countries will strengthen coordination and make good plans and designs from a long-term and top-level perspective.

While hailing fruitful cooperation in various economic fields over the past years, especially in the CPEC construction, Wang suggested that in the near future the two countries emphasize ensuring early harvests in the project.

For his part, Abbasi said Pakistan and China are brothers and bilateral relations have withstood the test of time. Pakistan has witnessed the sustainable growth in its economy in recent years and China has played an important role in it, he said.

After their meeting, Wang and Abbasi attended the completion and inauguration ceremony of important cooperation projects between the two countries and the signing ceremony of bilateral cooperation documents.

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