ISLAMABAD - Chief of Army Staff (COAS), General Qamar Javed Bajwa Monday felicitated China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) on its 90th Founding Day and expressed the hope that professional collaboration between PLA and Pakistan Army would continue to expand to bring peace to the region in general and China and Pakistan in particular.

Speaking at a Chinese reception here, held in connection with PLA’s 90th Founding Day, the army chief said that it was a matter of great honour and pleasure for him to be part of this anniversary.

“On this historic occasion, I convey, deepest compliments from all ranks of Pakistan Army, to all ranks of People’s Liberation Army,” he said.

He conveyed his special felicitations to the President of People’s Republic of China, Xi Jinping, General Fan Changlong, Vice Chairman Central Military Commission and General Fang Fenghui, Chief of Joint Staff.

“This day symbolises the power of people’s unity, unflinching resolve and sacrifices, owing to which PLA, today, is one of the finest military outfits in the world. The professional standards of the PLA, its training and technological outreach, and its enviable operational record, stand second to none,” he added.

Pakistan Army and the people of Pakistan, he said, took great pride in their deep rooted brotherly relationship with People’s Republic of China. “This enviable relationship finds no parallel in the world,” he said.

The COAS said both China and Pakistan were faced with similar challenges and opportunities. “Both countries have assumed shared responsibility towards stability in the region and prosperity of our people. This unity of purpose has led to the consolidation and has strengthened our resolve as determined nations, to brave all challenges and storms together,” he added.

He said as important strategic players in the region the relations between Pakistan and China had jointly benefitted both the countries. “It is a relationship based on mutual trust, respect, understanding and cooperation. In fact, this friendship is flourishing with every passing day, which encompasses every aspect of our life,” he maintained.

He said the close collaboration between the two counties spanned over a wider canvas than ever before and ranged across strategic initiatives like China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), defence collaboration in numerous joint projects and united diplomatic front, internationally.

“Pakistan is indebted to China for its unflinching support to our perspective at all international forums, may it be expansion of Nuclear Suppliers Group, Kashmir Issue, or Pakistan’s full membership of Shanghai Cooperation Organization.”

General Bajwa said China had always provided unconditional support to Pakistan’s efforts for reconciliation in Afghanistan, especially at the platform of Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG). “We are also actively cooperating in all fields against war on terror. Moreover, from diplomatic cooperation to security collaboration, we have stood by each other through thick and thin and shall continue to stand shoulder to shoulder, come rain or shine,” he added.