ISLAMABAD: President Dr Arif Alvi Friday said that as both China and Pakistan stood for peace, they had a great opportunity to lead the world towards multilateralism and ensure the establishment of morality-based institutions in the future.
The president, in his address as the chief guest at the virtual reception on 70th Anniversary of China-Pakistan Diplomatic Relations, said the vested interests instead of the morality were dominating in international affairs at diffident forums in the world and that was why the oppressed people of Kashmir and Palestine did not get any hearing.
Even, the promises made to the Kashmiri and Palestinian people were not fulfilled just because of the vested interests, he told the event which was also attended by Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Nadeem Raza, federal ministers, politicians and Chinese Ambassador in Pakistan Nong Rong.
The virtual reception was jointly organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Chinese Embassy in Islamabad to mark the 70th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic relations established on May 21, 1951.
The president said the goals of China and Pakistan was friendship, which had been cemented further for humanity.
He said at a time when environment and global warming were the issues, peace was also essential and both China and Pakistan also believed in that endeavour.
“China and Pakistan have a great opportunity to lead the world, in the matter of trade towards multilateralism, towards not creating or raising walls for each other’s products as well as to establish institutions and ensure that the institutions in the future are morality based which is the foundation of our relationship. The more we move forward in that direction, the more peace we will have,” the president remarked.
He thanked President Xi Jinping for the congratulatory letter to him and felicitated China on successful landing on Mars, which, he said, proved that the country was second to none in the field of science and technology.
Referring to China’s journey towards a developed country by uplifting around 800 million people out of poverty, the president said Pakistan should also strive for that and learn from it.
He said during the seven decades, the bilateral friendship stood firm and even got stronger into strategic partnership and people-to-people contacts.
Calling both the countries “Iron brothers”, the president said Pakistan and China believed in a future, which bound the people together, and lead them to prosperity and peace.
President Alvi said China was the largest trading and investment partner of Pakistan, with their collaboration in the fields of agriculture, trade, finance, education and, science and technology was strengthening, along with the cooperation between the people.
He said Pakistan fully supported President Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative of which the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was an important part. From the beginning, when Pakistan needed to improve its energy supplies and establish industry not only along the route but across the country, special economic zones, CPEC was going to be a harbinger.
He highly appreciated China for “exemplary handling” of the Covid-19 pandemic and recalled his China visit in March last year. He also thanked China for sending medical teams and now vaccine to Pakistan and added that the Chinese assistance and advance learning helped the country a lot.
He said currently, around 30,000 Pakistani students were studying in China, benefiting from its advanced educational system. "We have established seven sister-province and 14 sister-city relationship with China. Seven Pakistan study centres, 11 Urdu language departments in various Chinese universities, and four Confucius Institutes in Pakistan are promoting cultural understanding and further reinforcing the everlasting friendship between the two countries," he added.
The president said Pakistan had done reasonably well to handle the pandemic comparing the regional countries, but the country still needed to be careful during the third wave.
He said both the countries stood for humanity and Pakistan was learning from China as how it focused on health, education and investment to encourage people to rise on their own.
He said both the countries had a vision for peace and improvement in the health and education standards and ensure food security.
He reaffirmed the commitment to build a closer Pakistan-China community of shared future in the new era where their people stood together in friendship leading the world towards peace and prosperity.
“It is important that this message goes out and this camaraderie spreads throughout the world,” the president concluded.
Started with the national anthems of China and Pakistan, the ceremony also featured a documentary showing the 70-year journey of bilateral ties and a special song with mix of Chinese and Urdu lyrics sung by Sahir Ali Bagga.
Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani, in his address, said Pakistan was the first Muslim nation to recognise China and establish diplomatic ties, and since then, both the countries maintained a close cooperation.
Referring to the institutional cooperation, including the parliaments, the Senate chairman said construction of the Karakoram Highway (KKH), Heavy Industries Complex, JF-17 Thunder, multiple hydropower projects and CPEC were the fruits of seven-decade old friendship.
He hoped that CPEC would prove to be an example of bilateral cooperation for the world. The bilateral cooperation, he added, also got strengthened by the cultural exchanges and establishment of sister cities.
Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Nadeem Raza said the China-Pakistan ties withstood pressure of geopolitics.
He said starting from the construction of Karakoram Highway, the bilateral cooperation had entered into many more avenues.
Reiterating Pakistan’s support for One-China Policy, the JCSC chairman said the defence and security cooperation also played a key role during the last seven decades.
Chinese Ambassador Nong Rong said since establishment of the bilateral ties, the China-Pakistan friendship remained rock solid and also became a role model state to state relation.
He recalled that President Alvi’s visit to China last year amidst Covid-19 pandemic was manifestation of the bilateral friendship, adding that the friendly and pragmatic cooperation remained fruitful during the seven decades.
Moreover, the ambassador said CPEC had become an important platform for cooperation between the two nations, which had been extended to multiple areas like energy, agriculture and livelihood covering all aspects of Pakistan’s development.
The ambassador also thanked Pakistan for allowing clinical trial of Chinese vaccine in the country.