I am in love with China: Zardari


Islamabad : Stating that visiting China is “like going home”, Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari says he has “an internal romance” with the country and is in love with its people and culture.

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“I think I have an internal romance with China. I am very biased and I love every part of it, the beauty of its people and the beauty of its culture,” the president said before leaving Pakistan Thursday evening for attending the 16th Asian Games in China’s Guangzhou city.

Zardari said he hoped to pass on the Pakistan-China friendship to the coming generations, and expressed the hope that the long-standing relations between the two neighbours be continued.

He will meet with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, besides meeting China’s provincial political leaders and the corporate sector on the sidelines of the mega sports event, Pakistan’s APP reported.

“We have a tried and time-tested friendship. The whole idea of my visiting China is to continue the relations and transform it to young generation, and that’s why my son is joining me in China,” Zardari told Xinhua.

Zardari’s son and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari will join his father for the opening ceremony of the Games.

Zardari said the ruling PPP has also been close to China since the era of late Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, the party founder and father of Benazir Bhutto, Zardari’s late wife.

He appealed for more investment from China and hoped that Pakistan would be the destination for Chinese companies to put up industries.

Zardari thanked China for the relief aid sent to flood-affected areas and hoped China would help redevelop the country’s infrastructure.

The president said the two countries could get closer if they were linked by land routes.

“It is my dream to go to China by road, but that has not been realised yet. I have been trying for this many years,” he said.

Zardari said a gas pipeline from the southwestern Pakistani port of Gwadar to Xinjiang in western China is also under consideration.