I am honoured to be the 18th Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the People’s Republic of China to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

A few days ago, I departed from Beijing, flew over the towering Karakorum Mountains and arrived in the beautiful city of Islamabad with joy. Although this is my first visit to this country, Pakistan is not at all unfamiliar to me. China and Pakistan are closely interdependent neighbours linked by mountains and rivers. Coming here is just like visiting my brother’s home. The Chinese people have created a unique name for Pakistan—Iron Brother—to describe the preciousness of the all-weather friendship between China and Pakistan.

Over the past 69 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Pakistan, no matter how the international situation changed, our two countries have always stood with each other, sharing joy and sorrow, understanding and supporting each other’s core interests. China-Pakistan relations have stood at the forefront of the times and been the model of state-to-state friendly coexistence.

In 2015, President Xi Jinping paid a historic state visit to Pakistan. The leaders of the two countries upgraded China-Pakistan relations to the All-Weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership, rendering China-Pakistan traditional friendship new connotations and bringing China-Pakistan relations to a new height. Prime Minister Imran Khan’s three visits to China and four meetings with President Xi Jinping after assumeing office further consolidated political trust between the two countries. In aligning the Belt and Road Initiative with the development strategy of “Naya Pakistan”, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is progressing smoothly. The exchanges and cooperation between the two countries in fields such as trade and investment, science and technology, culture and education, defence and security have deepened continuously and benefited the two peoples. Since the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic this year, China and Pakistan have firmly supported and generously helped each other, and set a model for international cooperation against the pandemic. As President Xi Jinping said to President Dr. Arif Alvi, China and Pakistan are true friends who go through thick and thin together, and good brothers who share weal and woe.

China always views China-Pakistan relations from a strategic and long-term perspective, and gives priority to Pakistan in its neighbouring diplomacy. The recent Fifth Plenary Session of the 19th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China confirmed a set of long-range objectives to basically achieve socialist modernisation by 2035 and the major goals of economic and social development during the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-2025). In particular, the session pointed out that China should actively foster a “dual circulation” development pattern in which domestic economic cycle plays a leading role while international economic cycle remains its extension and supplement. That means China will not only build a strong domestic market, but also implement a high-level opening up with the high-quality development of the Belt and Road Initiative. China’s diplomacy will continue to uphold the principles of peace, development, cooperation, and mutual benefit, and promote the building of a new type of international relations and a community with a shared future for mankind. We are ready to work with Pakistan to seize the new opportunities brought by China’s development and inject new impetus into bilateral cooperation.

President Xi Jinping pointed out that China-Pakistan relations should become a model of neighbourhood friendship, a pillar of regional peace and stability, and a benchmark for the Belt and Road international cooperation. The year 2021 marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China and the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Pakistan. We should take this opportunity to work together to build a Closer China-Pakistan Community of Shared Future in the New Era.

China is committed to maintaining the momentum of high-level exchanges with Pakistan, and deepening China-Pakistan strategic cooperation. We should earnestly implement the important consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries, strengthen the exchanges of experience in governance, bring synergy in the development strategies, continue to support each other on issues involving the core interests and major concerns of both sides, and firmly safeguard national sovereignty, territorial integrity and national dignity.

China is committed to expanding all-round practical cooperation with Pakistan to achieve mutually beneficial results. We should promote the high-quality construction of the CPEC, focusing more on the cooperation in industrial development, agriculture, science and technology, information, and livelihood-related sectors, so that the dividends of the CPEC can benefit more people of both countries. The two sides should also continue to engage in cooperation of fighting COVID-19, including vaccine cooperation, to create a community of common health for mankind.

China is committed to working with Pakistan to uphold multilateralism and promoting the democratisation of international relations. China-Pakistan relations must be at the forefront of promoting the building of a community of a shared future for mankind. Both sides should adhere to the path of openness, inclusiveness, mutual benefit and win-win cooperation, jointly safeguard peace and security, defend international fairness and justice, and oppose hegemonism, unilateralism, and protectionism.

China is committed to enhancing people-to-people bonds with Pakistan and consolidating friendship for generations. The Pakistani film Parwaaz Hai Junoon will be released in China this month, and the Chinese audience is eagerly looking forward to it. Next year, China and Pakistan will jointly commemorate the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations, strengthen party-to-party exchanges, and advance exchanges and cooperation in various fields. We would like to encourage people from different walks of life in the two countries to carry out a variety of celebration activities, so that the friendship between China and Pakistan will reach deeper into the hearts of the two peoples, and play a new chapter of harmonious exchanges and mutual learning between different civilisations.

It is both a glorious mission and heavy responsibility for me to assume office at this important juncture. I will stay true to my original aspiration, fulfill my duties, implement the consensus reached by the leaders of our two countries, work closely with all sectors of Pakistani society and make my own contribution to the goal of building a Closer China-Pakistan community with a shared future in the new era. I have full confidence in the bright prospect of China-Pakistan relations in the future!

Chin-Pak Dosti Zindabad!