Outgoing Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM), Embassy of the People’s Republic of China, Mr Zhao Lijian has termed his stay in Pakistan as DCM from 2015 to 2019 a memorable period marked with accelerated pace of trade and economic activity between China and Pakistan, particularly initiation, inauguration and completion of a number of projects under China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
While bidding farewell to his embassy’s colleagues and the Pakistani friends at a farewell reception held at local hotel, Zhao Lijian said he was fortunate to have made great friends in Pakistan during his diplomatic term in Pakistan.
Ambassador of China in Pakistan Mr Yao Jing, Zhao Lijian’s successor new DCM Embassy of China and Minister Counsellor Ms Pang Chunxue, parliamentarians, Chairman of Pak-China Institute Mushahid Hussain Sayed, senior officials of the Pakistan government, Executive Editor of Pakistan Observer Gauhar Zahid Malik, media persons and members of the diplomatic community all had turned up to wish him good luck for his future endeavors.
Thanking Pakistan and Pakistani friends for their love, support and hospitality DCM Zhao said Pakistan and China were ‘iron friends’ and enjoyed deep cordial relations. He said visits by President Xi, Premiere Li and several other high level visits were high marks of his stay in Pakistan and contributed to further enhancing bilateral relations between the two countries.
“These high level visits promoted Pak-China relations from government-to-government (g-to-g) to people-to-people (p-to-p) and business-to-business (b-to-b) taking economic activity to new heights,” remarked Zhao.
He particularly mentioned Multan-Sukkur Motorway (M-5), Sahiwal Coal Power Plant, KKH Phase-II, Thar Coal Mine Power Plant, Hubco Power Plant and a number of other projects that were either completed or nearing completion.
“I am happy to witness launch of CPEC and now when the project is in maturity stage I am leaving with conviction that it will prove a game-changer not only for Pakistan but the entire region,” said Zhao Lijian.
He said economic relations between Pakistan and China was expanding further to social sector as 47 social sector projects were launched with an investment of US$1 billion.
These projects in social sector have been enormously beneficial for Pakistan, said Zhao Lijian adding he was grateful to Pakistani officials and friends for their continued support.
“I particularly want to thank my friends on Twitter without whose support, I would not be able to clarify various aspects of the CPEC,” he said.
Zhao Lijain also thanked the parliamentarians, armed forces of Pakistan, think tanks, professors and students who extended support to him and rejected negative propaganda against , CPEC. “99pc of the people of Pakistan are in support of CPEC,” he said.
While paying rich tributes to Zhao Lijian for his enormous work for Pakistan-China friends, particularly CPEC and for reposing trust in Pakistan’s economy and future, Mushahid Hussain Sayed assured his successor Pang Chunxue would enjoy same cooperation from the Pakistanis.
During Zhao Lijian’s stay in Pakistan, China-Pak cooperation achieved new heights, said Mushahid Hussain Sayed, particularly in terms of economic connectivity. A cake was also cut to celebrate successful completion of Mr Zhao Lijian’s tenure in Pakistan and to wish him best of luck.