Pakistan China Institute held a high powered event to commemorate 70 years of diplomatic relations between Pakistan and China.
The panel of keynote speakers included Gen (R) Ehsan ul Haq, former Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee of Pakistan, Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed, Chairman, Senate Foreign Affairs Committee and Pakistan China Institute, H.E Ambassador Nong Rong, China’s Ambassador to Pakistan, H.E Ambassador Sha Zukang, former Under Secretary-General of the United Nations and President of China – Pakistan Friendship Association, H.E Ambassador Masood Khalid, Pakistan’s former Ambassador to China, H.E Ambassador Munir Akram, Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations, Tehmina Janjua, Former Foreign Secretary of Pakistan, Saliha Agha, Monitoring and Evaluation Analyst at USAID.
The online event was moderated by Mustafa Hyder Sayed, Executive Director of the Pakistan China Institute.
China’s Ambassador to Pakistan, H.E Nong Rong said: “I would like to thank Mushahid Hussain Syed and Pakistan China Institute for hosting this meeting to celebrate 70 years of Pak China relations. Since diplomatic relations started since 1951, Pakistan and China friendship has remained solid, despite how regional and economic issues has evolved.
“President Xi Jinping made a historic visit to Pakistan in 2015 promoting bilateral relations. Prime Minister Imran Khan has visited China 3 times, held 4 meetings with Xi Jinping.”
H.E Nong Rong further stated that China had donated 1.5 million vaccines to Pakistan with a new batch of vaccines coming soon.
“Since CPEC, China has become Pakistan’s largest trading partner, and largest source of investment for the last 7 years.”
General (R) Ehsan ul Haq said: “My profound felicitations to China and Chinese and Pakistani friends as we celebrate 70 years of Pakistan China diplomatic relations. I would like to compliment Mushahid Sab, Mustafa, and their team of dedicated professionals for organising today’s event and inviting me to be part of the deliberations.
“I consider Pakistan and China as partners in confronting the security challenges.”
History stands witness that this relationship continues to expand
“Despite major geopolitical shifts. The cliches of all-weather friendship and iron brothers are most befitting.”
“The mutuality of interests and the remarkable strategic understandings has been the bedrock of relations which is now a strategic partnership.”
Gen (R) Ehsan ul Haq stated how the China – Pakistan relationship maintained a strategic equilibrium to balance Indian Hegemony in South Asia. He further stated that after the 1965 war, the US proved to be an unreliable ally to Pakistan while China proved to be a valuable ally especially in the realms of technological transfer.
“China is the source of 75-80% of Pakistan’s arms imports. And 35% of China’s arms imports are from Pakistan”
“India views CPEC and BRI as a threat to its ambition of dominating South Asia. China has commended Pak’s efforts to eradicate terrorism.”
General (R) Ehsan further stated that the cooperation in Civilian Nuclear technology was a strong element of the Pakistan – China partnership.
“Evoking concerns of a new Cold War, a new great game, how far will the toolbox of the 20th century Cold War sustain the US and western primacy of the International order?”
Ms Saleha Agha said: “I congratulate all of you on the 70th anniversary of the Pak China relationship. It’s a remarkable milestone in South Asia.”
Ms Saleha Agha stated that two years ago, she led a delegation of Pakistani students to China and discovered the cultural beauty of China in a profound way.
Ms Saleha Agha highlighted the importance of people to people contact which was appreciated by the speakers and the audience.
H.E Ambassador Sha Zukang said: “Today China Pakistan relations have existed for 70 years. This relationship is known by all as an all-weather, strategic partnership. China does have friends, but Pakistan is only the unique one, which is qualified as all-weather. Chinese people are proud to have such a great friend like Pakistan.
“The construction of CPEC is undoubtedly one of the most important aspects in our bilateral relations. Out of the 70 projects, 46 have been completed or initiated. With this progress, CPEC has entered its second phase. At this time, I wish to analyse that CPEC is a two way project. The benefit of which has been reciprocal. For that reason, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Pakistan.”
“The Belt and Road initiative is a public good provided to the international community by the Chinese govt. BRI is something new, we all lack due experience, China takes CPEC as a forerunner of BRI, as the flagship project.”
“Pakistan is the most important country in the region for China.”
“The Chinese people, especially Chinese engineers and workers working in CPEC are grateful to the Pakistani government and people for their consistent support. We are especially grateful to the Pakistan army for safeguarding CPEC projects.”
H.E Ambassador Sha Zukang mentioned that in his 45 year diplomatic career, he would always turn to Pakistani diplomats for help who always delivered.
Ambassador Munir Akram said: “Senator Mushahid Hussain has been a leading light in maintaining the torch of this relationship and I would like to congratulate you on your accomplishments Senator and your contribution to the Pakistan China relationship.”
“China is the pivot of Pakistan’s foreign policy. And this pivot is based on geopolitics, based on the convergence of interests, mutual trust, this pivot will not change.”
“Pakistan’s policies and China’s policies at the regional, national and international level are completely aligned. China’s support in the Jammu and Kashmir has been vital.”
“We appreciate China’s support in the UN security council and other international platforms on this issue.”
“Our positions on geostrategic issues are aligned with China, our policies are convergent and totally aligned with each other.”
“Pakistan will continue to be the strongest defender of China’s territorial integrity, whether in Hong Kong, Xin Jiang, etc, with this alignment between the two countries, our relationship is strengthened.”
Former Foreign Secretary, Tehmina Janjua said: “Thank you Pakistan China institute for this invite to commemorate the 70th year of diplomatic relations between Pakistan and China”
“Ambassador Sha Zukang is a symbol of what friends should be.”
“Friendship between Pakistan and China has been unbreakable and rock solid.”
“Pakistan and China are all weather strategic cooperative partners. These are not just words but reflect a reality that we witness everyday in both countries, a reality that is deeply appreciated in Pakistan.”
Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed, Chairman Pakistan China Institute said: “We talk of 70 years of Pakistan China diplomatic relations. My first visit to China was as a young teenager, when I was studying in FC College, as a second year student and I was President of the Pakistan China Youth Friendship Association. It was the time of the cultural revolution.”
“In 50 years I’ve been fortunate in my almost 100 visits to China, I’ve seen the transformation of China. China’s transformation has been truly amazing. I think one aspect which illustrates that change in global politics is those 15 minutes on 18 March in Alaska. When H.E Yang Jiechi made that famous response to Anthony Blinken and Jake Sullivan. And where he talked about how the world as viewed from China and the rest of the world, where the rules based order and what the US represents does not represent the majority of the international community.”
“As Ambassador Munir Akram said, China is the pivot of Pakistan’s foreign policy. It is based on mutual trust and mutually reinforcing interests. “
“It’s not just about two governments, two states, two militaries, it’s rooted among the people of Pakistan and China, and this is how we have to take it forward.”
“Henry Kissinger mentioned Pakistan’s positive role in his secret visit to Beijing.”
“Through CPEC, China gave a vote of confidence in Pakistan, in its people and its future.”
Former DG ISI, Gen (R) Asad Durrani attended the event and asked a question about how Pakistan and China dealt with sensitive issues.