Carry Forward China-Pakistan Friendship for Common Progress
Remarks by State Councilor Dai Bingguo at the Reception Marking
Islamabad, 23 December 2011
Your Excellency Prime Minister Gilani,
It is my great honor to visit your beautiful country as the representative of President Hu Jintao in this 60th anniversary year of our diplomatic relations and attend this grand reception marking the close of the Year of China-Pakistan Friendship. Let me begin by extending, on behalf of President Hu Jintao and the Chinese government and people, warm greetings and best wishes to the brotherly Pakistani people, and expressing sincere thanks and deep respect to friends from various sectors who have long been committed to developing China-Pakistan friendship.
China and Pakistan are friendly neighbors connected by the same mountains and rivers. Sixty years ago, our two countries established diplomatic relations, an event that opened a new chapter in our relationship. Since then, the China-Pakistan political ties have become stronger after being tested by trying times. Our all-round cooperation has drawn our interests closer. And the friendship between the brotherly Chinese and Pakistani people have grown stronger still as we have gone through thick and thin together. Just as late Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai pointed out, "The friendly relations between China and Pakistan is not dictated by expediency; it is rooted in our mutual need and the interests of Asia-Africa solidarity and world peace. Our friendship manifests itself not just in ordinary times, but also in tough moments."
During the past 60 years, China and Pakistan have forged a strategic partnership of cooperation that has produced fruitful results. Our two countries have treated each other with mutual respect and as equals, and we could always count on each other for sincere and selfless support and assistance. Our leaders, who have visited each other frequently as relatives do, have been in close communication and coordination on major issues. There have also been close exchanges between our parliaments, political parties and local governments. Our bilateral trade has grown from a modest 10 million dollars in the early days of diplomatic relations to almost 10 billion dollars today. The signing of the bilateral free trade agreement further unleashed the potential in our economic and trade cooperation. The Karakorum Highway, Gwadar Port, Taxila Heavy Mechanical Complex, Chashma Nuclear Power Plant, Jinnah Sports Stadium and Pakistan-China Friendship Center: these mega-projects bear testimony to the lasting China-Pakistan friendship.
During the past 60 years, Chinese and Pakistani people have established an all-weather, brotherly relationship. We have stood alongside each other, in both good and bad times. It is believed that happiness, when shared by two, will be doubled; suffering, when shared by two, will be halved. We see this in the wake of China's Wenchuan earthquake, when Pakistan sent over all its tent stocks. And we see this during the last two years, when people from China's Xinjiang risked their lives to deliver winter supplies to the Pakistanis stranded by landslide lake. And I remember the thunderous, standing ovation from the tens of thousands of Chinese spectators as the Pakistani delegation walked into the stadium at the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympic Games. We Chinese people call our most trustworthy friends "iron-core" friends, meaning the brotherhood is firm and strong, just like iron and steel. In the heart of the Chinese people, Pakistan is always such an "iron-core" friend.
During the past 60 years, China-Pakistan friendship has stood the test of time and grown from strength to strength. We have set an example of harmonious, trustful, friendly and cooperative relations between two countries of different social systems. Why have we been able to build such a strong relationship? It is because:
- Both countries have adhered to the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, respected each other's development path chosen by the people in light of national conditions, and firmly supported each other's efforts to uphold independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and core interests.
- Successive generations of Chinese and Pakistani leaders have all made China-Pakistan relationship a high priority in both countries' external relations, approached our relationship from a strategic and long-term perspective, and devoted an enormous amount of time and
energy to forging and promoting our friendship.
- Our people have been committed to and supportive of our friendship. From the eight-year-old to the eighty-year-old, China-Pakistan friendship has struck root in the hearts of the 1.5 billion people of our two countries. It is their commitment that has nourished the tree of China-Pakistan friendship and enabled it to bear bountiful fruits.
- Our two countries have pursued effective and practical cooperation. Such cooperation has contributed to the economic and social development of our countries and brought tangible benefit to our people, thus laying a solid foundation for strong relations.
- Our two countries have conducted close coordination and cooperation in international and regional affairs. We have worked together to uphold the common interests of not only our two nations but also other developing countries, tackle global challenges, maintain stability in the region and beyond, and advance the noble cause of world peace and development.
These valuable experiences are the common asset of Chinese and Pakistani people. We should cherish and pass on China-Pakistan friendship and grow it even stronger.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Profound and complex changes never seen since the end of the Cold War are taking place in today's world. The extent, magnitude and rapidity of the changes are far beyond people's expectation. Confronted with the complicated and volatile international situation, it is all the more important for all-weather strategic partners like China and Pakistan to handle our own affairs well and maintain stability and growth, and to deepen and broaden our cooperation. Thus we can secure more favorable conditions for the stability and development of our own countries and make greater contribution to peace, stability, development and prosperity of the region and the world at large.
First, we should further strengthen strategic coordination. We should carry on the tradition of frequent high-level exchanges, and support and help each other on issues concerning each other's major interests. China always maintains that Pakistan's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity should be duly respected; its
contribution and sacrifice in the international counter-terrorism campaign should be fully recognized; and its effort to achieve national stability and development should receive strong support and sincere assistance from the international community.
Second, we should further expand practical cooperation. Over the past year, post-flood reconstruction projects such as rehabilitation of the national highway network have made good progress. Our two countries have established the energy cooperation mechanism. The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China has opened branches in Pakistan. A communication satellite jointly developed by China and Pakistan has been put into orbit. And a 10 billion RMB for 140 billion rupees currency swap agreement has just been signed. Going forward, China will reduce tariffs on Pakistani goods and increase imports from Pakistan within the framework of the China-Pakistan Free Trade Area. We will continue to give sincere and selfless assistance to Pakistan's economic and social development, and provide financing support for major cooperative projects such as upgrading and realignment of the Karakoram Highway and the Guddu power plant. We will step up cooperation with Pakistan in energy, infrastructure and agriculture, and help Pakistan improve its capacity for self-generated development.
Third, we should further increase people-to-people exchange. We should promote all-dimensional, multi-tiered, wide-ranging exchanges and cooperation between our two countries to build stronger popular support for our friendship. China highly appreciates Pakistan's effort to promote Chinese language teaching, and stands ready to provide more assistance in this field. We welcome more Pakistani students to study in China. And we will continue with the mutual visits of 100-member youth delegations and China-Pakistan Friendship Bringing-Light Tour. All this will help to pass our friendship to future generations.
Fourth, we should further enhance coordination and cooperation.Pakistan is a major country in South Asia and has important influence in the Islamic world. We congratulate Pakistan on being successfully elected a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, and support Pakistan in playing a bigger role in international affairs. China would like to partner with Pakistan to address various challenges, safeguard common interests, promote dialogue between civilizations, and work for harmony and sustainable development of the world.
Ladies and gentlemen,
This year has been crucial for China's peaceful development. We have got off to a good start in carrying out the 12th Five-Year Plan, accelerated efforts to shift the growth model and adjust the economic structure, taken an active part in international cooperation against the financial crisis, and played an important role in safeguarding world peace and promoting global economic recovery and growth.
China is firmly committed to the path of peaceful development. China's development is an opportunity, not a threat, to other countries. In the course of world economic recovery, China will continue to work with the international community to secure strong, balanced and sustainable growth of the global economy, and make the world a more peaceful and tranquil place.
China is firmly committed to deepening friendship and partnership with neighboring countries. We want to intensify amicable and cooperative relations with Pakistan and other neighboring countries. Together, let's share peace, promote development, pursue cooperation and achieve win-win results for all.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Before I conclude, I want to express heartfelt thanks once again to our Pakistani friends from various quarters who have dedicated themselves to China-Pakistan relationship over the past 60 years. No stride or achievement in our relationship would have been possible without your devotion and hard work. Looking ahead, we see new opportunities for deepening our relations. Let's stand shoulder to shoulder, build on the successful Year of China-Pakistan Friendship, and usher our friendship and cooperation into an even brighter future!
Chin-Pak dosti zandabad!