Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang on Monday telephoned Pakistan's new Prime Minister Imran Khan to congratulate him and hoped that the "all-weather" friendship between the two countries would further strengthen under his leadership.
According to a press release issued from Prime Minister House in Islamabad, the Chinese premier said his government wishes to work closely with the new Pakistani government and hoped that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project will be completed on time.
The over USD 50 billion CPEC is a network of infrastructure projects that are currently under construction throughout Pakistan that will connect China's Xinjiang province with Gwadar port in Pakistan's Balochistan province.
India has objected to the CPEC project as it passes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
Premier Li expressed hope that the "all-weather" friendship between the two countries would strengthen under the new government in Pakistan, the release said.
Li Keqiang also invited Mr Khan, who was sworn-in as the 22nd Prime Minister of Pakistan on Saturday, to visit China.
The Prime Minister thanked his Chinese counterpart and said he is "keen to learn from [China's] experience in poverty alleviation, anti-corruption and social sector reforms like health and education as these are his government's priorities for domestic reforms", the Dawn newspaper quoted the release as saying.
Mr Khan also "vowed" to work closely with China on "all regional and international issues of mutual concern", it said.
Mr Khan thanked Li Keqiang for his invitation and said that he looked forward to his trip to China. He then extended a counter invitation to Li Keqiang, asking him to visit Pakistan "at his earliest convenience".
China has historically come to Pakistan's rescue with economic, political and military assistance and the leadership of the two countries have often described their ties as "all weather".
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