On the occasion of the 71st anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, on behalf of the Chinese Consulate General in Lahore, I would like to express the most passionate congratulations and warmest regards to our fellow Chinese who work and live in Punjab, and as well as to express our best wishes and most sincere gratitude to Pakistani brothers and sisters, who have for long rendered their support and care for China’s development and Sino-Pak friendship.

China has overcome various obstacles and made tremendous achievements since the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949. Over the past 71 years, the national strength and international status of China have been significantly improved, and people’s living standards are getting better and better. China has lifted more than 800 million people out of poverty and has become the world’s second largest economy. Its GDP per capita increased from USD1,000 in 2001 to more than $10,000 in 2020, a 10-fold increase in less than 20 years.

The year 2020 is an extraordinary year when we’ve been through the outbreak of the pandemic and dramatic changes to the international environment. A major crisis is a touchstone for testing the concept and effectiveness of governance. Despite all these, China has effectively put the domestic epidemic under control, economic growth has turned from negative to positive, and significant results of combating COVID-19 have been achieved in the current stage under the concerted efforts by the Chinese Communist Party and the Chinese people and also under the strong support of our iron brothers like Pakistan. In the second quarter of 2020, China’s GDP grew 3.2 percent compared with the same period last year, increasing by 11.5 percent compared to the previous quarter, showing signs of recovery. In August, China’s value-added industrial output went up 5.6 percent year-on-year, the total retail sales of consumer goods up 0.5 percent, total value of imports and exports expanded 6 percent, the actual use of foreign capital rose by 18.7 percent, and the newly increased employed people in urban areas numbered 7.81 million, further manifesting the development resilience and vitality of China’s economy.

Pursuing development with a single focus and embracing the world with open arms; China’s development is closely related to the rest of the world, and the development concept of mutual benefit is gradually gaining popularity. China’s economic recovery will provide assistance to the economic development of countries along the “Belt and Road”, including Pakistan, and will further consolidate the traditional friendship between the two countries to help each other through storm and stress. As a responsible great power, China has taken initiative to provide assistance to the best of its ability to support and help international communities including Pakistan, specifically in extending 50 million USD cash assistance to WHO in two batches, dispatching 29 medical teams to 27 countries under the guidance of China’s President Xi Jinping’s thought on forging a community of shared future for mankind and offering support and help to 150 countries and 4 international organizations in their fighting against the pandemic.

The Chinese Consulate General in Lahore, together with the Punjab Government and Punjab people, has been dedicated to enhancing Sino-Pak all-weather strategic and cooperative partnership and joint fighting against the pandemic, which has achieved fruitful results. As early as the beginning of April, the Chinese medical expert team visited Lahore and held discussions with the health departments to introduce China’s experience in fighting the epidemic. On May 11, medical supplies, which are worth more than Rs.100 million, arrived in Lahore from sister provinces and cities including Shandong, Jiangsu, Ningxia, Hubei and Xi’an. During the epidemic, the Chinese Consulate General in Lahore and Chinese institutions in Punjab successively donated cash and medical supplies worth nearly Rs.100 million. In addition, the Chinese Consulate General in Lahore has aided construction of classrooms and installation of water purifiers for the elementary schools in Punjab including Mahmunwali, Okara and etc. At the same time, Punjab military and police have been adhering to the safety protection of Chinese enterprises and citizens under the grim situation of the pandemic.

Despite the pandemic impact, CPEC projects both under construction and completed are going well, with remarkable fruits achieved already, under the staunch support by Punjab government and with close cooperation by both sides, as the CPEC is expected to be an important carrier and breakthrough of Punjab economic recovery. Currently quite a number of early-harvest projects have been completed and put into operation, including Sahiwal Coal-Fired Power Plant, Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park (Bahawalpur), Karachi to Lahore Motorway (Sukkur-Multan Section), which are conducive to Punjab as these projects will strengthen areas of weakness in infrastructure and energy sectors. Among the ongoing projects in Punjab, OLMT Project will be put into operation this October. Matiari to Lahore ±660kV DC Power Transmission Project construction is to be wrapped up by the end of October 2020 and put into production in March 2021.

As the second Chinese Consul General in Lahore, I would like to express my heart-felt thanks to the Punjab government and people for their long support and taking good care of Chinese enterprises and citizens in Punjab. Looking into the future, there is still much space for bilateral cooperation.

I am looking forward to working with the Punjab government and people in the enhancement of mutual exchanges and bilateral cooperation in various sectors in order to build a Sino-Pak community with a shared future in the new era, as the Chinese Consulate General in Lahore continues its role as bridge and tie. Let’s jointly greet the advent of the Year 2021 that marks the 70th anniversary of China-Pakistan diplomatic relations.