State Councilor and Foreign Minister, Mr. Wang Yi,
Ambassador Nong Rong,
It is a great pleasure that I, together with the State Councilor and Foreign Minister Mr. Wang Yi, am launching the celebrations to commemorate the 70th Anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between Pakistan and China. Our diplomatic relations were formally established on 21st May 1951 and since then have grown from strength to strength. In the past seventy years, our relationship has turned into an ‘All-Weather Strategic Co-operative Partnership’ which is an anchor for peace, stability, and development in the region. I am proud to say that we were one of the first few countries to recognize the People’s Republic of China which was established after a remarkable and valiant struggle on 1st October 1949. Today’s China has passed through a miraculous phase of economic and social transformation. It has become the second largest economy of the world, the largest trading nation, a leader in AI, and hosts a world-class infrastructure across every nook and corner of a continent-sized country. China’s experience of poverty alleviation, bringing 800 million people out of poverty in three decades, has been unparalleled in human history. We pay tribute to the Chinese leadership which has done an incredible job in changing the lives and destiny of its 1.4 billion people. We believe that President Xi Jinping’s leadership, at a momentous moment in history, has greatly helped Chinese nation achieve its national aspirations. Towering Chinese leaders such as Chairman Mao Zedong and Premier Zhou Enlai played a crucial role in strengthening our ties. Similarly, successive generations of leaders and people of both Pakistan and China made invaluable contributions to strengthen these ties. Over past seven decades, we have built our ties around the principles of mutual understanding, mutual support and mutual trust. The multifaceted strategic and political cooperation of the two countries is stronger than ever. The two sides are coordinating at multilateral and regional fora and support each other on the issues of their core interest. Pakistan adheres to ‘One-China policy’ and China has stood by us in supporting our key strategic, economic, and developmental priorities. We are looking forward to receive President Xi Jinping to Pakistan this year. We believe that the visit will be seminal in further elevating our ties. Our two countries have the fine tradition of standing by each other in the hour of need. At the outbreak of COVID-19 in China, Pakistan immediately dispatched essential medical supplies to China to support its fight against COVID-19. President of Pakistan, Dr. Arif Alvi, travelled to Beijing in March 2020 to express solidarity with the people and the government of China. When pandemic was spreading in Pakistan, China assisted us generously. We are thankful to China for gifting us 500,000 doses of Sinopharm vaccine that helped save lives of our frontline health workers. In recent years, our social and cultural relations have become much stronger. Currently, over 28,000 Pakistani students are studying in China benefiting from China’s advanced educational system. We have established seven Sister-Province and thirteen Sister-City relationships with China. Seven Pakistan Study Centers, eleven Urdu Language Departments in various Chinese Universities, and four Confucius Institutes in Pakistan are promoting cultural understanding between the two countries. Pakistan supports President Xi’s visionary Belt and Road Initiative that has become a pivot for connectivity and global economic growth. As the flagship project of BRI, CPEC is set to become a High-Quality Demonstration Project. There is complete consensus across the political spectrum in Pakistan on CPEC’s indispensability for our national development. On the special occasion of the 70th anniversary of establishment of Pakistan-China diplomatic relations we have planned a series of activities, spread over the year to commemorate the historic occasion in a befitting manner. We hope these activities will inspire our younger generations to understand the vitality and depth of our relationship as well as its historic significance and move it forward with even greater conviction, vigor, and determination.