By Sun Weidong
This article is based on Chinese ambassador’s speech delivered at Chinese New Year. President Mamnoon Hussain was the chief guest on the occasion. Here are excerpts of the speech.
It is such an honor and privilege for me that Your Excellency President Mamnoon Hussain graces this function today. Please accept my warmest welcome and heartfelt thanks to your Excellency, and to all the brothers and sisters of Pakistan for your attendance!
Mr. President, you are an old friend of Chinese people and you have indissoluble bonds with China. According to the Chinese lunar calendar, each year of the Chinese Zodiac is related to an animal sign. If I remember correctly, Your Excellency Mr. President was born in the Year of Dragon. Dragon is a symbol of propitious omen, richness, and prosperity in Chinese traditional culture. It also represents strength and progress. Your Excellency’s presence undoubtedly brings happiness and good luck to the Chinese people and to this reception.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
China and Pakistan are iron brothers. Our friendship is time-tested and always rock firm. Our friendship enjoys whole-hearted support of our two peoples and contributes to peace and stability of the region and even beyond.
This year is the China-Pakistan Year of Friendly Exchanges. Chinese President Mr. Xi Jinping will pay a state visit to Pakistan at an early date this year. It will certainly bring China-Pakistan strategic cooperative partnership to a new high.
We will further promote the exchanges between our two governments, legislative bodies, political parties, local governments, youth, academics, artists and media. We should further enhance the friendship between our two peoples, and bring our hearts closer and closer.
We will take the construction of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor as the backbone. We will boost cooperation in ports, energy, infrastructure and industry, and forge an all-round cooperation to benefit the people of Pakistan. We will encourage Chinese corporations to invest in Pakistan, bring the qualified capacity of production, and transfer the capacity to the impetus of Pakistan’s economic development.
We will forge the China-Pakistan community of shared destiny, making it a model and example for relations between China and its neighboring countries.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The upcoming Chinese New Year is the year of goat. These days, the Chinese people will pack up their luggage and rush from the workplace to their home. It is estimated that during the 40 days around the Festival this year, the number of passengers will reach more than 3 billion, which is almost half of the world population. It has become the largest population flow on this planet.
Why do people take time and trouble to rush home? Because Chinese New Year is a time for family reunion. Because home is our warmest harbor. Because all your family members are just right by your side, with overwhelming happiness.
This year, many Chinese people will spend their Festival in Pakistan, including me. But we don’t feel lonely. For us, celebrating the Chinese New Year in Pakistan makes me feel at home. Pakistan is our second home. We hope that we can share the happiness of family reunion with every Pakistani friend. We are just one family!
I would like to take this opportunity to express my greetings and best wishes to all of you. I wish all of you a happy and prosperous new year!
Nayaa Saal Mubaarak!
Sun Weidong is Ambassador of People’s Republic of China to Pakistan. He made these remarks at Chinese Lunar New Year Reception