BEIJING, Jan. 5 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Thursday talked over phone with Pakistani Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif at the latter's invitation.
The two leaders first exchanged New Year greetings. Stressing that the China-Pakistan friendship has withstood the tests of international changes and has grown stronger over time, Li said China always places relations with Pakistan as a priority in its neighborhood diplomacy, and will continue to support Pakistan in safeguarding national independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity, legitimate rights and interests, as well as in maintaining national unity, stability and realizing development and revitalization.
Sharif's successful visit to China not long ago has strongly promoted the development of bilateral relations, Li said, adding that China is ready to intensify high-level exchanges with Pakistan, promote practical cooperation in key areas, and promote greater development of China-Pakistan relations.
Li pointed out that the current world economic situation is complicated, characterized by high inflation, low growth, tight monetary policy and high debt.
All countries should jointly promote mutual opening up, strengthen macroeconomic and financial policy coordination, and strive to promote the recovery and growth of the world economy, said the premier.
China always supports Pakistan in developing its economy and improving people's livelihood, and is willing to work with Pakistan to safeguard regional peace, stability and development, said Li, adding that it is hoped that Pakistan will continue to do its utmost to ensure the safety of Chinese personnel and institutions in Pakistan.
For his part, Sharif thanked China for its huge support and assistance to his country in fighting floods, and highly appreciated that China has always stood by Pakistan in times of difficulties, which fully demonstrated the ironclad friendship between Pakistan and China that is higher than mountains and deeper than the sea.
Pakistan firmly upholds the one-China principle, supports China on all issues concerning China's core interests, and is willing to strengthen cooperation with China in various fields to push bilateral relations to a higher level, Sharif said.