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March 3, 2021

Pakistan, China mark 70 years of friendship

Top Story

March 3, 2021

ISLAMABAD/BEIJING: Celebrations commenced Tuesday to commemorate the 70th anniversary of establishment of Pak-China diplomatic relations.

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi formally commenced activities during a virtual ceremony that was simultaneously held in Islamabad and Beijing, said a Pakistani Foreign Ministry statement.

Qureshi said successive generations of leaders and people of Pakistan and China had made “invaluable” contributions towards strengthening ties between the two nations that were established in May 1951, reports the international media.

“We pay tribute to the Chinese leadership which has done an incredible job in changing the lives and destiny of its people,” he said.

“We believe that President Xi Jinping’s leadership, at a momentous history, has greatly helped Chinese nation achieve its national aspirations.” Qureshi reaffirmed that a multibillion-dollar China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a flagship project of Beijing’s ambitious Belt Road Initiative, will become a “high-quality demonstration project.” The $64 billion CPEC that was signed in 2014 is intended to connect China's strategically important northwestern Xinjiang province to the Gwadar port in southern Pakistan, through a network of roads, railways, and pipelines to transport cargo, oil, and gas.

Qureshi announced that China would send 500,000 more doses of coronavirus vaccine to Pakistan for frontline workers and senior citizens. He said China had already gifted 500,000 doses of Sinopharm vaccine to Pakistan for its frontline health workers, reports the media.

Qureshi said the two countries were determined to move forward together as their bilateral relations were based on mutual trust. Chinese Foreign Minister observed that the Sino-Pakistan friendship has a “time-honored history and in the seven decades the two countries have stood together in rain or shine, and built an exceptional, iron-clad friendship.”

A logo was unveiled during the ceremony epitomizing the historic nature of Pakistan-China ties.

The two nations have planned a series of events, including people-to-people exchanges, which are spread across the entire year to commemorate the historic milestone. He said China and Pakistan should firmly promote construction of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, create new growth points for cooperation, and let the fruits of China-Pakistan cooperation better benefit the people of both countries.

“The two sides should promote the participation of all sectors of society in both countries, especially the young generation, in friendship exchange activities, continuously enhance the understanding and friendship between the two peoples, and strengthen the emerging force to carry forward the China-Pakistan friendship, Wang noted.