Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said on Wednesday the 70-year relationship between Pakistan and China proved its strength with a unique level of trust shown by the two generations, governments and political parties of both the countries.
Talking to the media at the opening session of the high-level conference on ‘Pakistan-China at 70: A Unique Bilateral Partnership’, Qureshi said that Sino-Pak relations were based on “trust and confidence”, adding that Pakistan had pursued its journey with China in the right direction.
“From China’s Chairman Mao to President Xi and Pakistan’s Field Marshal Ayub Khan to Prime Minister Imran Khan, both sides have contributed to the unique and priceless relationship,” the foreign minister told reporters.
He rejected the ambiguity raised by certain circles about the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and categorically stated that the project would continue unhindered. “[I] dismiss any doubts about CPEC, because there is a national consensus over it and the related activity will go on unabated.”
The foreign minister mentioned that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government had laid down the foundation of the second phase of CPEC, which would ensure industrial development, agricultural productivity and poverty alleviation.
Lauding the “excellent” cooperation extended by China to Pakistan during the Covid-19 situation, he expressed confidence that the joint production of the vaccine would prove to be a remarkable step in controlling the coronavirus spread.
Earlier in addressing the conference, attended by diplomats, intellectuals and officials of Pakistan and China, Qureshi said that Pakistan desired to maintain a multifaceted relationship with China to serve the mutual interest besides ensuring peace and prosperity of the region.
“We look forward to multifaceted and brotherly relations in future with China, which would not only serve the best interests of our two countries but would also ensure peace, stability, development and prosperity in the region and beyond,” he said.
The conference was organised by the Pakistan-China Institute as part of a series of activities being held in Pakistan and China to celebrate 70 years of the establishment of the bilateral diplomatic relations. Qureshi said this was the time to build upon the achievements of the last seven decades.
He mentioned Pakistan’s support for ‘One-China Policy’ and other issues of Taiwan, Tibet, Xinjiang, Hong Kong and South China Sea. Also, China stood by Pakistan in supporting its key strategic, economic and developmental priorities and the Jammu and Kashmir dispute.
He said the main focus of Pakistan had shifted from geopolitics to geo-economics, as the country sought to transform into a progressive and an economically vibrant country through development partnerships, connectivity and regional peace.
He mentioned prioritising three Special Economic Zones in the second phase of CPEC along with the ground breaking of Rashakai SEZ on May 28 this year. He welcomed entrepreneurs from all countries to benefit from the investment-friendly regime and reap economic dividends from these SEZs.
Earlier, Pakistan-China Institute Chairman Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed and Chinese Ambassador Nong Rong highlighted the positive impacts of the strong relations between Pakistan and China on the development and prosperity of the region.