ISLAMABAD, MAY 26 (DNA) – “Pakistan and China enjoy a unique relationship, which has grown with the passage of time, and at present it is far more diverse and vibrant, than ever.”
This was stated by Zahoor Ahmed, Additional Secretary (Asia-Pacific), addressing a webinar organized to commemorate 69th Anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between Pakistan and China.
On 21st May, 1951 diplomatic relations were established between Pakistan and China. To mark the occasion, China-Pakistan Study Centre (CPSC) at the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI) organized a webinar. H.E. Yao Jing, Ambassador of China in Pakistan made keynote remarks, while Mr. Zahoor Ahmed, Additional Secretary (Asia-Pacific) at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was the Chief Guest. Panelists included Pakistan’s former diplomats who had represented Pakistan in China over the past decades.
Dr. Talat Shabbir in his introductory remarks underlined that during past 69 year’s relationship between China and Pakistan withstood changes in international system. Pakistan and China have complete identity of views on all major regional and international issues. He highlighted that CPSC continues to strive towards deepening and promoting Pakistan-China bilateral relationship through research, analyses and outreach activities.
Ambassador Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry, Director-General ISSI, in his welcome remarks, underscored that it is special occasion to mark establishment of diplomatic relations. Projects such as construction of Karakorum Highway, JF-17, FTA-I and II, and CPEC are building blocks that have only strengthened the relationship over the decades. He said work of CPSC and ISSI have assumed greater importance in the age of narrative and it is extremely important for both sides to maintain constant communication and coordination to save the relationship from detractors.
Speaking at the occasion, former foreign secretary Salman Bashir paid tribute to leaders and diplomats who have nurtured the relationship over the decades. He noted that it is truly genuine friendship which cannot be quantified and explained through traditional theories of the international relations.
Meanwhile, former diplomat, Raiz Khokhar opined that Pakistan-China relationship is a story of model state-to-state relationship that has evolved over the decades. Pakistan cannot thank China enough for extending vital support during difficult times in 1965 and 1971.
Additional Secretary Zahoor Ahmed, highlighted that at present we are in new stage of the relationship which is dynamics and multidimensional. Most importantly, relationship with China remains a central pillar of Pakistan’s foreign policy. He specifically highlighted extensive support of China to Pakistan during the recent COVID-19 crisis, which he noted underscored strength of the relationship.
Masood Khalid, Pakistan’s former Ambassador to China, underlined the significance of strategic cooperation for regional stability, and noted that Pakistan-China relationship has assumed regional and international importance. Ambassador Khalid Mahmood, Chairman ISSI and also former ambassador to China underscored that five principles of peaceful co-existence continue to guide the bilateral relationship.
He highlighted that youth needs to be engaged in various facets of expanding cooperation for enhancing people to people contacts.In his keynote remarks, Ambassador Yao Jing commended CPSC and ISSI for organizing the webinar to commemorate establishment of bilateral relationship, which he noted continues to be guided by mutual respect and mutual support to each other.
He underscored that a key feature of bilateral engagement is non-interference in internal affairs and support to each other’s core interests. These central tenets have remained consistent over the decades. He said China is satisfied with the current direction of the relationship, as it has expanded in recent years to economic sphere.
Ambassador Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry, DG-ISSI, delivered concluded remarks and thanked esteemed guests and panelists for joining the webinar.