All-weather allies Pakistan and China on Tuesday launched year-long activities to celebrate 70 years of the establishment of their diplomatic ties. Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi formally commenced the activities through a virtual ceremony simultaneously held in Islamabad and Beijing.
The Foreign Office (FO) said that the ceremony was attended by high-ranking officials from both sides. On the occasion of the 70th anniversary, both sides have planned a series of events, including people-to-people exchanges, spread over the entire year to commemorate this historic milestone in a befitting manner, it said.
Speaking on the occasion, Qureshi praised the Chinese leadership for doing an incredible job in changing the lives and destiny of its people. We believe that (Chinese) President Xi Jinping’s leadership, at a momentous history, has greatly helped Chinese nation achieve its national aspirations, he said.
He said that successive generations of leaders and people of both Pakistan and China made invaluable contributions to strengthen these ties. The Foreign Minister also reaffirmed that the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was set to become a High-Quality Demonstration Project of the flagship Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
The CPEC, which connects Gwadar Port in Balochistan with China’s Xinjiang province, is the flagship project of President Xi’s ambitious BRI. China’s Foreign Minister Wang underlined that Pakistan-China friendship has a time-honoured history and in the seven decades, the two countries have stood together in rain or shine, and built an exceptional, iron-clad friendship.
To mark the occasion, both Foreign Ministers authored articles that were published today highlighting how the two countries have solidified and deepened their All-Weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership over seven decades, despite vicissitudes of times and changes in the international system, according to Pakistan’s Foreign Office. A logo was also launched at the ceremony epitomising the historic nature of Pakistan-China ties.