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ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi, on Tuesday formally commenced activities to celebrate 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Pakistan and China.

The virtual ceremony was simultaneously held in Islamabad and Beijing and was attended by high-ranking officials from both sides, the Foreign Office said.

Speaking on the occasion, Foreign Minister Qureshi underscored that, “we pay tribute to the Chinese leadership which has done an incredible job in changing the lives and destiny of its people.”

“We believe that President Xi Jinping’s leadership, at a momentous history, has greatly helped Chinese nation achieve its national aspirations,” Qureshi said, adding that “successive generations of leaders and people of both Pakistan and China made invaluable contributions to strengthen these ties.”

The foreign minister also reaffirmed that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was set to become a ‘high-quality demonstration project’ of the BRI.

Pakistan supports President Xi’s visionary Belt and Road Initiative that has become a pivot for connectivity and global economic growth.

“There is complete consensus across the political spectrum in Pakistan on CPEC’s indispensability for our national development,” he added.

At the ceremony, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi underlined that Pakistan-China friendship has a time-honored history and in the seven decades the two countries have stood together in rain or shine, and built an exceptional, iron-clad friendship, the Foreign Office further stated.

A logo was launched at the ceremony epitomising historic nature of the Pakistan-China ties.

On the special occasion of the 70th anniversary, both sides have planned a series of events, including people-to-people exchanges, spread over the entire year to commemorate this historic milestone in a befitting manner.

To mark the historic occasion, both foreign ministers authored articles that were published on Tuesday, highlighting how the two countries have solidified and deepened their ‘All-Weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership’ over seven decades, despite vicissitudes of times and changes in the international system.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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