LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif has congratulated Chinese President Xi Jinping, Prime Minister Li Keqiang and the Chinese people over the commencement of new Chinese year.

In a message issued here on Thursday, he extended felicitations to Chinese Ambassador Yao Jing, Chinese engineers, technicians and other workers engaged on different projects in Punjab and other parts of the country.

It is heartening that thousands of Chinese engineers, technicians and workers while remaining away from their families on the occasion of this auspicious festival, are engaged in completing national development projects in Pakistan, he said.

This passion of Chinese engineers and other workers is highly commendable because the completion of these projects will help to strengthen national economy along with increase in investment, he added.

He said that splendid manifestation of Chinese engineers and workers for Pakistan will be written in golden words in the annals of history.

He said that Chinese engineers and workers have given a strong message of love, affection, hard work and dedication by remaining away from their loved-ones on this occasion of joy and we are proud of it.

Work is more important for Chinese engineers who are rendering yeoman service for Pakistan than their personal happiness, he added.

He remarked the both countries have consensus point of view on different global issues including upholding of peace and mutual respect and honour.

The Chief Minister said that the solid foundation of a new journey of development and prosperity has been laid in Pakistan in shape of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects with Chinese collaboration.

The relationship of friendship between Pakistan and China is even stronger today and mutual relations are touching new heights, he added.

He said that CPEC will not only benefit the whole of Pakistan, but other countries of the region as well, adding that the speed with which work is being carried out on these projects is unprecedented.

Pakistan is proud of its friendship with China as this friendship is immortal and the relationship of friendship is going stronger with the passage of time, concluded the Chief Minister.

Florida shooting condemned

Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif has strongly condemned the horrific incident of shooting in a school of Florida State in the USA. He expressed deep sense of sorrow and grief over the deaths of children and other people and extended sympathies to the bereaved families. He also prayed for early recovery of the injured. Targeting innocent children and other innocent people is high condemnable act and all our sympathies are with the bereaved families, concluded the Chief Minister.