PR No.239 Islamabad

President Mamnoon Hussain has said that the leadership transitions in Pakistan and China have opened a new chapter of cooperation in relationship of both countries. The President stated that the governments of both countries have reaffirmed the strategic partnership between the two countries and has also sought to redefine the relationship by putting economic cooperation at the centre of the bilateral agenda.

The President said this while talking to a delegation of former Chinese Ambassadors and Diplomats which, headed by Mr. Lu Shulin, called on him at the Aiwan-e-Sadr, Islamabad on Tuesday. The Chinese delegation comprised of former ambassadors, Consul Generals and Counsellors who had served in Pakistan. Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Sun Weidong was also present in the meeting.

The President stated that China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is the flagship project for this new phase of relationship between Pakistan and China adding by linking the Gwadar port via the Karakoram Highway with Xinjiang, the CPEC will be a transformational project for economies of the two countries. The President underlined that CPEC will complement the Chinese government’s strategy for developing China’s inland provinces, and dovetail perfectly with President Xi Jinping’s vision of “One Belt, One Road”. The President said that as an engine for economic integration, the Economic Corridor could be a game-changer for the whole region noting that significant progress has already been made in implementing this monumental project.

Stating that Pakistan is proud of its historic association with the people of China, the President observed that Pakistan was one of the first countries to recognize the People’s Republic of China and since then the relationship of the two countries has grown into a strategic partnership that has benefited both nations in the diplomatic, economic and security spheres. The President said that people of Pakistan and China have always stood shoulder to shoulder through every trial and tribulation. “The warmth in bilateral ties at the government-to-government level is matched by cordial relations and cooperation between the Communist Party of China (CPC) and all major political parties of Pakistan”, remarked the President. He further added that above all, Pakistan-China relationship is founded on absolute convergence of interest that finds expression on united and principled stance on a host of international and regional issues.

The President noted that most of the visiting members of delegation have served in Pakistan in various capacities and appreciated their contributions in cementing Pakistan-China ties. The President said that their visit to Pakistan is an important step forward in strengthening people-to-people and cultural ties. The President emphasized for deepening and expanding the cultural relations adding that in the era of globalization, it is very important to project and promote the cultural identities.

The President appreciated the book “You and Us: Stories of China and Pakistan”, written by Ambassador Lu Shulin noting that this is an important initiative and a valuable contribution towards promotion of soft image of Pakistan in particular and Pak-China relations in general and suggested that its Urdu version should also be launched.