ISLAMABAD - Chinese ambassador to Pakistan Sun Weidong said yesterday that bilateral relations between China and Pakistan would attain new heights to their mutual benefits.

Ambassador Weidong made these remarks while addressing a reception he hosted at the Embassy to celebrate the 66th anniversary of the founding of People’s Republic of China.

President of Pakistan Mamnoon Hussain graced the reception as chief guest. More than 900 people from different walks of life including ambassadors of various countries, political leaders and senior civil and military officials attended the reception.

Ambassador Sun Weidong said that during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s historic visit to Pakistan earlier this year has given new impetus to the bilateral relations to the all-weather strategic cooperative partnership as the China-Pakistan relations have entered into a new stage of grand and vigorous development.

He said that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has entered into implementation from early planning, adding that the CPEC is a long-term ongoing cooperative process requiring unremitting efforts from both sides, and will bring benefits to the people of our two countries and also help promote the regional development.

“This year is the Year of China-Pakistan Friendly Exchanges,” the ambassador said, adding that Chinese Consulate General in Lahore is to be officially inaugurated while direct flights by Air China between Beijing and Islamabad will soon commence.

He continued that more facilitation will be offered to the visa application of the Pakistanis who participate in the CPEC projects and hoped that these measures will surely promote the interaction between peoples of two countries and further deepen our mutual understanding and friendship.

He emphasized that the two brotherly countries should make joint efforts to further promote the China-Pakistan friendship, realize our common dreams, and achieve the goal of the Community of China-Pakistan Shared Destiny at an early date.

Ambassador Sun Weidong also spoke about the great progress made in the development of China over the past 66 years, stressing that the Chinese economy has entered into the new phase and China continues to deepen reforms and expand opening-up.

He was confident that China is able and confident to maintain steady and relatively rapid development of its economy.

The Chinese Ambassador thanked the President Mamnoon Hussain for attending the reception.

Earlier upon arrival, President Mamnoon Hussain was warmly received by the Chinese ambassador and his wife along with other staff of the Chinese embassy. A Chinese girl clad in traditional dress presented bouquet to the President.

The ceremony commenced with playing of national anthems of Pakistan and China. On the occasion, the President cut the cake to celebrate the 66th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. President Mamnoon Hussain extended his warm felicitations and best wishes to the Government and people of China on their National Day.

Later, the President witnessed an art performance and appreciated the skills of the performing Chinese artists.