70 years of standing together

On May 21, 1951, the People’s Republic of China and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan formally established diplomatic relations. Over the past 70 years, no matter how the international landscape changed, China and Pakistan have always joined hands to forge ahead. Both countries established a unique all-weather friendship and carried out all-round cooperation. The warm and sincere relations are regarded as a valuable asset being cherished generation to generation.

As early as more than two thousand years ago, the ancient Silk Road closely connected China and Pakistan. The people of both countries began friendly exchanges amid echoes of camel bells. The friendship steadily grew stronger and deeper in the extended course of history. Over the years, we have firmly supported each other and taken good care of each other’s core interests and major concerns. Even at critical times, be it when New China endeavoured to break external blockade and made diplomatic openings, or when Pakistan stood up to crises to defend its sovereignty and national dignity; we have always been there for each other and become true friends in need.

In times of hardship, the people of China and Pakistan always extend a helping hand to each other as early as possible. Such mutual support and assistance with no strings attached, are pure acts of sincerity and love. Whether the worst earthquake hit Wenchuan of China in 2008, or Pakistan suffered devastating floods in 2010, the two countries promptly gave support and help to each other. Such touching stories have been widely spread among the people of China and Pakistan, and the friendship has long been deeply rooted in the hearts of the two peoples.

Since the beginning of the 21st century, our relationship has grown even stronger, and cooperation has been upgraded across the board. In April 2015, President Xi Jinping paid a historic state visit to Pakistan. The leaders of the two countries announced to elevate the relationships to an all-weather strategic cooperative partnership. This has opened up a new chapter of friendly interactions between China and Pakistan.

The political exchanges are frequent. The heads of state and government of our two countries maintain communication through bilateral and multilateral channels. The governor and the chief minister of the Punjab province keep interacting with Chinese counterparts to promote bilateral exchange and cooperation.

China-Pakistan cooperation has yielded fruitful results. China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has entered into the second phase focusing on agricultural and industrial cooperation. The Punjab province is a major agricultural and economic province of Pakistan and holds major CPEC projects. Under the staunch support of the Punjab government and with close cooperation by both countries, CPEC projects in Punjab are progressing well with remarkable fruits achieved, dubbed as an important breakthrough of Punjab economic and social development as well as a successful example of friendly exchanges and cooperation between local governments and people of both countries.

People-to-people exchanges are further booming. The ever-growing force for China-Pakistan friendship has been the solid basis for our bilateral relations. In recent years, the Chinese Consulate General in Lahore has made great efforts to promote exchanges and cooperation between provinces and cities of China and Punjab, and organised mutual visits between China’s local delegations and their counterparts in Punjab in such fields as media, think tanks, scholars, education culture, etc. This has further facilitated the mutual exchanges and iron friendship.

The anti-epidemic cooperation brims with notable achievements. Our friendship has withstood the test of the sudden strike of Covid-19, and has emerged even stronger. During China’s fight against the Covid-19 at the start of 2020, Pakistan did all to provide China with donations. People from all walks of life in Pakistan, including the media, voiced their support for China and opposed politicising the pandemic and stigmatising China. When the Covid-19 cases surged in Pakistan, Chinese central and local governments, military, businesses and social organisations all pitched in to extend a helping hand. China provided successive batches of medical supplies, sent medical teams, and intensified experience sharing and technological exchanges. The Chinese Consulate General in Lahore has donated epidemic prevention materials worth 700,000 RMB to the Punjab government, police bureaus and friendly organisations and groups, and also promoted friendly provinces like Shandong, Jiangsu, Ningxia, sister cities such as Xi’an and Chengdu, as well as Hubei Province, to provide 100 million Rupees worth of medical supplies to Punjab. Both countries have established a joint epidemic prevention and control mechanism aiming at no jobs cut and no staff withdrawn with uninterrupted work in CPEC projects, which has set an example for global anti-epidemic cooperation and economic recovery. Khalid Abbas, a famous poet of Pakistan, once wrote such classic lines of verse: “China is like a bright light during a dark journey. Whenever our sailboat falls into a whirlpool, China always comes in time and brings us hope and future.”

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China. China will embark on a new journey toward a modernised socialist country and is doing its efforts for realising its second centenary goal. Meanwhile, Pakistan is advancing economic and social development at full speed and improving people’s livelihood to turn the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan for “Naya Pakistan” into reality. As an all-weather strategic cooperative partner, China is willing to make joint efforts with Pakistan to forge ahead. The Chinese Consulate General in Lahore will continue to enhance communication and coordination with Punjab, promote exchanges and cooperation between local governments, advance steadily construction of CPEC projects, and push forward our all-weather strategic cooperative partnership for bringing constant benefits to our two countries and people.

Peng Zhengwu
The writer is the acting Consul General of the People’s Republic of China in Lahore.

China and Pakistan friendship zindabad!

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More