70-years of Sino-Pak ties reflect a ‘unique level of trust’: FM

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ISLAMABAD, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Wednesday said the 70-year relationship between Pakistan and China had proved its strength with a unique level of trust shown by the two generations, governments and political parties.

“From China’s Chairman Mao to President Xi and Pakistan’s Field Marshal Ayub Khan to Prime Minister Imran Khan, both sides have contributed to the unique and priceless relationship,” the foreign minister said in a media talk, here at the opening session of the high-level conference on ‘Pakistan-China at 70: A Unique Bilateral Partnership’.

The foreign minister said the relationship between Pakistan and China was all about “trust and confidence”, adding that from generation to generation, Pakistan has pursued its journey with China in the right direction.

To a question on China Pakistan Economic Corridor, he rejected the ambiguity raised by certain circles and categorically stated that the mega project would continue unhindered.

“Dismiss any doubts about CPEC, because there is a national consensus over it and the related activity will go on unabated,” he said.

The foreign minister mentioned that the government of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf had laid down the foundation of the second phase of CPEC, which would ensure industrial development, agricultural productivity and poverty alleviation.

Asked about the Pak-China cooperation during the COVID-19 situation, he termed it “excellent as China stood with Pakistan in the challenge and gave doses of vaccine to help overcome the pandemic”.

He expressed confidence that the joint production of the vaccine would prove a remarkable step in controlling the cases of coronavirus.

Earlier in his address on the occasion, Qureshi said in future, Pakistan desired to maintain a multifaceted relationship with China to serve the mutual interest besides ensuring peace and prosperity of the region.

“We look forward to multifaceted and brotherly relations in future with China, which would not only serve the best interests of our two countries but would also ensure peace, stability, development and prosperity in the region and beyond,” he told a gathering of diplomats, intellectuals and officials of Pakistan and China.

The conference was organized by Pakistan-China Institute as part of the series of activities being held in Pakistan and China to celebrate 70 years of the establishment of their diplomatic relations.

Qureshi said this was the time to celebrate and renew resolve to build upon the achievements of the last seven decades.

“Our seven-decade journey has been one of greater solidarity, deeper confidence, mutual trust, and mutual understanding. Our deep-rooted and iron-clad friendship has been nurtured by successive generations of leaders and people of both countries,” he said.

He mentioned Pakistan’s support for ‘One-China Policy’ and other issues of Taiwan, Tibet, Xinjiang, Hong Kong and South China Sea.

Also, China has stood by Pakistan in supporting its key strategic, economic and developmental priorities and the Jammu and Kashmir dispute.

“Our All-Weather Strategic Co-operative Partnership has become an anchor for peace and stability in the region,” he added.

 

He said the main focus of Pakistan had shifted from geopolitics to geo-economics, as the country sought to transform into a progressive and an economically vibrant country through development partnerships, connectivity and regional peace.

As the flagship project of the Belt and Road Initiative, he said, CPEC complemented the geo-economic priorities with emphasis on economic integration and regional connectivity.

Under CPEC, he said that so far 19 projects were completed, 28 were under construction and 41 were in the pipeline.

He said over the past seven years, the CPEC power projects created over 26,000 jobs besides opening up 50,000 jobs in the CPEC motorway projects.

He mentioned prioritizing three Special Economic Zones in the second phase of CPEC along with the ground-breaking of Rashakai SEZ held on May 28 this year.

He welcomed businessmen and entrepreneurs from all countries to benefit from the investment-friendly regime and reap economic dividends from these SEZs.

“Our future vision is to combine infrastructure, knowledge, digital, health and green corridors to make CPEC a People’s Corridor of Prosperity and Progress,” he said.

The Foreign Minister said other significant areas of cooperation were 30,000 Pakistani students benefiting from the advanced educational system of China, establishment of 14 sister-city and seven sister-provinces, and promotion of cultural understanding by 11 Urdu language departments, seven Pakistan Study Centers at various Chinese Universities and five Confucius Institutes in Pakistan.

Chairman Pakistan-China Institute Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed and Chinese Ambassador Nong Rong highlighted the positive impacts of the strong relations between Pakistan and China on the development and prosperity of the region.

 

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