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Pakistan Continues To Be a Priority in Neighbourhood Diplomacy: China

Chinese President Xi Jinping .

Chinese President Xi Jinping .

Pakistan recognised China in 1951, a year after India established diplomatic ties with Beijing. India became the first non-Communist country in Asia in 1950 to establish diplomatic relations with China.

China said on Thursday that it will continue to accord priority to Pakistan in its neighbourhood diplomacy and reinforce iron-clad' ties as the all-weather allies celebrated the 69th year of the establishment of their diplomatic relations.

Pakistan recognised China in 1951, a year after India established diplomatic ties with Beijing. India became the first non-Communist country in Asia in 1950 to establish diplomatic relations with China.

Though a late entrant, Pakistan, an Islamic republic, has emerged as Communist China's closest ally and the two countries in recent years firmed up their all-weather alliance with USD 60 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, the biggest overseas investment by Beijing.

"Today marks the 69th anniversary of the diplomatic relationship between China and Pakistan. I offer congratulations,Foreign Ministry spokesman told a media briefing here on Thursday.

Zhao, who worked earlier as China's Deputy Ambassador to Islamabad, had a personal note of praise for his stint in Pakistan. "I had the pleasure of working in Pakistan. Before leaving the country, I said that Pakistan stole my heart. I believe it shows the deep-rooted friendship between the two countries, he said.

"In future, we have every confidence in the development of bilateral relations. We will continue to put Pakistan a priority in our neighbourhood diplomacy and work together for high-quality CPEC development, Zhao said.

India had protested to China over the CPEC as it traversed through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (POK). "We are all-weather strategic cooperative partners. In the past 69 years, this relationship has stood the test of the changing international landscape, and has remained firm as a rock, he said.

first published:May 21, 2020, 19:04 IST