Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang on Monday said the country’s friendship with Pakistan was “stronger than steel”. Wang was in Islamabad to attend Pakistan’s Independence Day celebrations.

“We have forged an all-weather friendship that is higher than mountains, deeper than oceans, stronger than steel and sweeter than honey, and engaged in all-round cooperation, setting a shining example of friendly state-to-state relations,” Wang said.

Wang said China was ready to strengthen an all-round strategic cooperation with Islamabad. Beijing supports Pakistan’s efforts in developing and implementing counter-terrorism policies, he added. He attended the independence day celebrations with Pakistan President Mamnoon Hussain and Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.

“We will not forget that back in the 1960s and 1970s, Chinese and Pakistani engineers and technicians, defying the harsh conditions on the snow-capped cliffs of the Karakoram mountain range, built the China-Pakistan Friendship Highway with their sweat and blood,” he said.

India has publicly opposed the One Belt, One Road initiative, which is a part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. India has contested that the project will pass through the disputed Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.