Senate of Pakistan

Grand ceremony of 'Pakistan-China Year of Friendly Relations 2015' held in Beijing

Grand ceremony of 'Pakistan-China Year of Friendly Relations 2015' held in Beijing
By: Muhammad Arif

Beijing, Jan 20:  China’s Tsinghua University and Pakistan China Institute jointly organized a grand ceremony on Tuesday in Beijing to mark the beginning ofYear of Friendly Relations 2015" of  "Pakistan-China - a time span to celebrate the sixty years long time tested partnership between Pakistan and China.

The event was attended by leading luminaries from China and Pakistan who are actively associated with promoting friendship between the peoples of the two countries. The event also marked the 5th birth anniversary of Pakistan China Institute.

Masood Khalid, Pakistan Ambassador to China

The sentiment that China is a true friend of Pakistan remains deeply etched in the hearts and minds of Pakistani people. With the relationship having successfully weathered several decades since independence of the two countries, the Chinese young and old consider Pakistanis to be their iron brothers and closest friends.  The friendship is deeper than the oceans, higher than mountains and sweeter than honey. Ambassador Masood Khalid was of the view that in the years to come, this friendship was bound to blossom further, remain ever green and reap dividends for our future generations.

Ambassador Khalid said that the two countries had broken new grounds of cooperation. Pakistan and China were working on the mega project of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) which had become an important policy instrument for regional connectivity and regional integration and was also in line with the vision of President Xi Jinping to revive the old Silk Route through operationalization of Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.  The Silk Road economic belt would connect different regions and civilizations, enhance trade, economic growth and common prosperity. By linking the Gwadar Port via the Karakorum Highway with Xinjiang, the economic corridor would prove to be a game changer for both countries. Pakistan would serve as a bridge for China with Middle East, Africa and Europe, for its trade and energy requirements. He explained that these transportation routes would greatly reduce the distances for China’s trade that is being done through Indian Ocean and the Malacca Straits,

Sun Weidong, China Ambassador to Pakistan

China Ambassador to Pakistan Sun Weidong said that China Pakistan relations had become an example of state to state relations. In year 2014, China-Pakistan relations had made great strides. China was now preparing to set up a new Consulate General in Lahore and a Confucius Institute in Faisalabad, in addition to the China Cultural Centre located in Islamabad. He said both countries looked forward to have further exchanges of visits, to have more high level contacts to promote mutual friendship and cooperation in various fields including politics, economy and people to people contacts. He said China Pakistan Economic Corridor would be further promoted, particularly cooperation in trade, investment, energy and communications would be strengthened. He said that a series of activities especially between legislatures, parties, local governments, youth, think tanks is planned to promote mutual cooperation giving a solid foundation to build on Senator Mushahid Hussain, Chairman of the Pakistan China Institute

 Senator Mushahid Hussain, Chairman of the Pakistan China Institute (PCI) said that day was special as the year of China-Pakistan friendship was being launched and also the 5th birth anniversary of Pakistan China Institute was being celebrated. He said that his institute was the first non- governmental initiative of the two neighbors and strategic partners, that took the initiate of introducing Chinese language classes, in holding the first Pakistan, China, Afghanistan trilateral Dialogue and launched President Xi Jinping’s book “The Governance of China,” in Islamabad. He appreciated Ambassador Masood Khalid’s efforts in cementing bonds between the two countries saying that Pak-China friendship had touched new heights during his stint in China. Senator Mushahid Hussain said that being at the crossroads of three great mountain ranges of the Himalayas, the Hindukush and the Karakorums, Pakistan, a neighbour and best friend of China, was uniquely placed to play a pivotal role in realizing the vision of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the Maritime Silk Road. He said a key component of this would be the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, which would link the Pakistan port of Gwadar, part of the Maritime Silk Road, winding up north on the Chinese-built Karakorum Friendship Highway to the Chinese ancient city of Kashgar on the Silk Road, a unique fusion of corridors, culture and connectivity. Crucial role of Pakistan as bridge between the Silk Road Economic Belt and the Maritime Silk Road. Was elaborated by Senator

Zhao Baige, Vice Chairperson of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National People’s Congress

Zhao Baige, Vice Chairperson of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National People’s Congress said that the Silk Road initiative had economic, political, social and cultural dimensions. It would strengthen the bonds of friendship and reap benefit for Pakistan, China and the whole world.  She said that China and Pakistan had developed a precious friendship through the years. With regard to future development of the two countries, she suggested strengthening communication, promotion of experience sharing between nongovernmental think tanks and the academia. Furthermore, cultural communication and friendship among the people s of the two countries was Termed as crucial.

Professor Li Xiguang, Director of Tsinghua International Centre for Communication

Director of Tsinghua International Centre for Communication Professor Li Xiguang said that Pakistan was the only all-weather strategic partner of China and played an irreplaceable role. The Gwadar port on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor would become the future commercial and trade center in the region and will provide the main pulling power for Pakistan’s economic growth, along with offering military strategic support for Pakistan. This project will become an important stronghold on the world energy routes, and become one of the most important ports in Asia and the whole world. Moreover, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor would make Xinjiang the ‘export gate’ of western China, improving the economic structure of Xinjiang’s industry on the whole, exploit Xinjiang’s economic potential and geographical advantage, and thus radiate through the whole region of South Asia and Middle East. A  book titled A Learning Caravan on Asian Borderlands edited by Li Xiguang was also launched. The book records interviews and stories written by Chinese college students during their three visits to Pakistan led by Li Xiguang, and includes first-hand materials in many important areas along the “belt and road”, such as Islamabad, Gwadar Port and Balochistan province.

Zhao Baige, Vice Chairperson of the Foreign Affairs Committee of NPC, ZhaiHuisheng, Party Secretary and Executive President of All China Journalists Association, Ai Ping, former Vice Minister of the International Department of CPC, Sun Weidong, Ambassador of China to Pakistan, Senator Mushahid Hussain, Chairman, China-Pakistan Institute, Ambassador Sha Zukang, President, China – Pakistan Friendship Association, Prof Li Xiguang, Director, Tsinghua University Center for Pakistan Culture and Communication Studies and Ambassador Masood Khalid were the key participants on the occasion.


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