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China's premier arrives in Pakistan bearing gifts

By the CNN Wire
Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao inspects a guard of honor during a welcoming ceremony in Pakistan.
Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao inspects a guard of honor during a welcoming ceremony in Pakistan.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • China will make a $30 billion investment in Pakistan over five years
  • Prime Minister Wen Jiabao met with his Pakistani counterpart
  • The trip comes after Wen visited India

Islamabad, Pakistan (CNN) -- China's prime minister lost no time displaying his country's friendship to Pakistan after arriving Friday for a three-day visit.

"I hope to tell the world through my visit that China and Pakistan have been good friends, and we will continue to do so in the future," Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao said, according to state-run Associated Press of Pakistan.

The Chinese government will assist Pakistan by investing up to $30 billion in various sectors over the coming five years, Pakistan's information minister told reporters after Wen met with his Pakistani counterpart, Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani.

The information minister, Qamar Zaman Kaira, said the two countries' representatives signed 13 agreements.

Kaira predicted that China's private sector would announce more investment during Saturday's business summit in Islamabad.

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China's delegation includes ministers, diplomats, members of the news media and 250 businessmen, according to the Associated Press of Pakistan.

Friday's agreements included Chinese aid to Pakistan's flood victims -- in the form of cash and help rebuilding houses and roads -- as well as the opening of culture centers in both countries, aid in energy projects, student scholarships and trade.

"China has helped Pakistan with open hearts and continued its tradition to help its close friend," Kaira said.

Wen's trip started out in a festive mood. Upon his arrival at Chaklala Air Base, he was greeted with a red carpet, gifts of flowers and a 21-gun salute.

He had just been in India, Pakistan's rival, for a three-day visit during which he participated in a business forum.

Bilateral trade is expected to hit $60 billion this year, making China India's largest trading partner.

CNN's Chris Lawrence and Nasir Habib contributed to this story from Islamabad.