Shaping the Future Together Through Thick and Thin
Speech by H.E. Wen Jiabao
Islamabad, 19 December 2010
Your Excellency Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani,
Aslam Alegum Bhayio!
It is a great honor for me to speak in this august chamber of the Pakistani Parliament. Let me begin by extending, on behalf of the Chinese government and 1.3 billion Chinese people, warm greetings and best wishes to the brotherly Pakistani people, and expressing sincere thanks and paying high tribute to friends from various sectors who have long been committed to the China-Pakistan friendship.
Five years ago, I visited your country and was warmly received by your people. Time flies, but true friendship remains. For me, coming back to Pakistan this time is like returning home. What I want to say first at this very moment is that China and Pakistan are brothers forever.
China-Pakistan friendship is full of vigor and vitality, like a lush tree with deep roots and thick foliage. China-Pakistan relationship is strong and solid, like a rock standing firm despite the passage of time. We owe our sound relationship to the vision of the older generations of leaders of the two countries and the hard work of the two peoples. At the crucial moments when China sought to break the external blockade, restore its lawful seat at the United Nations and achieve the normalization of relations with the United States, we received valuable help from Pakistan. On those major issues related to Taiwan, Tibet and Xinjiang, we have enjoyed Pakistan's consistent and full support. In 2008, when a massive earthquake struck China's Wenchuan, Pakistan gave all its tents in reserve and provided swift emergency assistance to us. Over the past half century and more, China, for its part, has extended firm support to Pakistan in its effort to safeguard independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity. We have offered Pakistan sincere help in its economic and social development, and many Chinese aid workers even laid down their lives. In the trying moments of severe floods in Pakistan this year, Chinese rescuers, in defiance of formidable difficulties, promptly transported living essentials to the affected areas. The Pakistani soldiers and civilians, braving danger to their own lives, went all out to rescue the 268 Chinese workers in Pakistan. These widely told touching stories attest to the fact that the friendship between China and Pakistan is deeply rooted in the hearts of the two peoples. It is in our blood. It has become our noble and firm conviction. And it has been translated into real actions.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Pakistan is an ancient and fascinating land with an enchanting landscape and rich resources. Its profound cultural heritage has nurtured a splendid civilization. The Pakistani people are kind-hearted, hard-working, persevering and resilient. You have every reason to be proud of your country and nation.
Over the past more than 60 years, the government and people of Pakistan have overcome various difficulties and scored remarkable achievements in nation-building and economic development by mainly relying on your own efforts. In recent years, in the face of the complex external environment and severe challenges, Pakistan has remained committed to an independent foreign policy and firmly safeguarded state sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity. It has opposed foreign interference and actively developed equal, cooperative and stable relations with neighboring countries. It has devoted itself to upholding national unity, political harmony and social stability, maintained steady growth of the economy and improved the lives of the people. With a firm will, admirable wisdom and hard work, you have gained dignity and achieved development.
Confronted by many difficulties and challenges, Pakistan is now at a critical juncture. Yet the government and people of Pakistan are undeterred. You have worked in unity to create favorable conditions and safeguard national security, stability and development. Your efforts have won broad sympathy, understanding and support from the international community. The heroic Pakistani people have never been crushed. Nor will they ever be. I have no doubt that you will tide over the difficulties and embrace new hope and new development. The Chinese government and people will stand firm with you in getting through the tough times.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
To cement and advance the all-weather strategic partnership of cooperation between China and Pakistan is our common strategic choice. It serves the fundamental interests of both countries and peoples and contributes to peace, stability and development of the region and beyond. China-Pakistan relationship will be even closer, stronger and more solid.
We will soon ring in the 60th anniversary of our diplomatic relations. The two sides should seize this opportunity to promote the traditional friendship, advance practical cooperation in all fields and make our strategic partnership of cooperation more extensive and productive.
We should preserve the tradition of close exchanges at the leadership level, step up communication and coordination on issues that concern our respective core interests and firmly support and help each other. Pakistan is at the forefront of the international counter-terrorism campaign. It has paid a heavy price and made important contributions. This is a well-known fact. The international community must fully recognize and support Pakistan's efforts and truly respect Pakistan's independent choice of the development path. The fight against terrorism should not be linked with any particular religion or ethnic group and there should be no double standards. We should address both the symptoms and root causes of terrorism and eliminate this scourge from its source. The Chinese attitude and position on this issue are clear and firm. We are ready to make tireless efforts and intensify coordination and cooperation with Pakistan and the entire international community.
We should deepen practical cooperation in all fields. China will take an active part in Pakistan's post-disaster reconstruction and honor our commitments in good faith. We support Pakistan's endeavor to develop itself through expanded international trade and investment cooperation. We stand ready to advance cooperation with you in energy, transport and infrastructure. During this visit, the Chinese trade and investment promotion delegation has signed commercial contracts worth about US$10 billion with Pakistani enterprises. This underscores the great potential and broad prospects of our business cooperation. China welcomes Pakistan's effort to capitalize on the preferential terms in the bilateral FTA to expand exports to China. The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China has gained the permission to open branches in Islamabad and Karachi. China has agreed to carry out currency swap with Pakistan. Greater financial cooperation between China and Pakistan will provide a strong support for the in-depth and sustained growth of our economic and trade ties.
We should expand people-to-people and cultural exchanges. Next year has been designated as the Year of China-Pakistan Friendship. A number of exchange activities will be held. China has decided to provide 500 government scholarships to Pakistan in the next three years. Yesterday, Prime Minister Gilani and I attended the inauguration ceremony for the Pakistan-China Friendship Center. Together, we announced the launch of the China-Pakistan Friendship and Brightness (Ophthalmic) Trip, under which Chinese doctors will perform surgeries for 1,000 Pakistani cataract patients in two years. Next year, 100 Pakistani high school students will be invited to participate in the Chinese Bridge Summer Camp in China. We would like to see more Pakistani young people visiting and studying in China. For five consecutive years, we have held the program of mutual visits by 100 young Chinese and Pakistanis. China supports the continuation of this program.
We should enhance our coordination and cooperation in regional and international affairs. Pakistan is a major country in South Asia and has important influence in the Islamic world. China wants to work with you to bolster regional cooperation, promote dialogue among civilizations and uphold cultural diversity. Our two countries have common interests and broad consensus on such major international issues as the UN reform, the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals, climate change and food and energy security. We should make joint efforts to meet challenges and promote harmonious and sustainable development of the world.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
As I am about to conclude my South Asian trip, I feel even more strongly that peace, development and cooperation have become the aspiration of all peoples and the trend of the times. You say in Pakistan, "A good neighbor is a blessing." We say in China, "A close neighbor means more than a distant relative." It is my sincere hope that our people will live and work in contentment, our region will enjoy lasting peace and prosperity and our world will embrace a brighter and more harmonious future!
The steadfastness of the pine tree is shown in the frigid winter; the strength of a horse is tested in a long journey. China and Pakistan are all-weather strategic partners. We are good brothers sharing weal and woe. Together, we have travelled a hard yet glorious journey. Looking ahead, let us work hand in hand and build with firm confidence a bright future for China-Pakistan relations.
Chin-Pak dosti zandabad!