Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Thursday said the time-tested relationship of Pakistan and China was flourishing with each passing day, unaffected by the vicissitudes of time and changes in the regional and global environment.
In his address at the issuance of commemorative coin in connection with celebrations marking 70 years of establishment of Pak-China diplomatic relations, the foreign minister said unrelenting efforts of the successive generations of people and the leadership of Pakistan and China had transformed the relationship into an ‘All-Weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership.’
The coin’s denomination has been kept at Rs 70, depicting the 70 years of all-weather, time-tested and brotherly relationship between Pakistan and China.
Governor State Bank of Pakistan Dr. Reza Baqir, China’s Ambassador Nong Rong and senior officials attended the ceremony.
The foreign minister said the relationship of Pakistan and China was unique in the world with the historic ties stretching over the span of millennia.
He mentioned that Pakistan adhered to ‘One-China’ policy and supported China on issues such as Xinjiang, Hong Kong, South China Sea, Taiwan and Tibet.
He said China stood by Pakistan in supporting the key strategic, economic and developmental priorities.
“Maintaining its principled stance, China has unwaveringly supported Pakistan on the Jammu & Kashmir dispute,” he said.
On China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the foreign minister said the venture brought this relationship to new heights.
After the successful conclusion of its first phase, he said, CPEC had entered into second phase with focus on industrial cooperation, trade, agriculture and socio-economic development.
Ground-breaking of Rashakai Special Economic Zone last month has the potential to spur industrialization and enhance our exportable surplus, he added.
“China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, being the flagship project of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), complements Pakistan’s renewed efforts of geo-economic shift with emphasis on economic integration and regional connectivity,” he said.
After the outbreak of Covid-19 in China and Pakistan, both countries extended material and moral support to each other in their respective efforts to contain the pandemic, he added.
On vaccine, he said the cooperation was also progressing very well as China gifted millions of doses of Covid-19 vaccine to Pakistan. Pakistan is also procuring Chinese vaccine on commercial basis, he added.
“We remain grateful to the Chinese government and people for their steadfast support, which has been instrumental in saving precious lives in Pakistan,” he said.
Qureshi said Pakistan had robust engagement with China in economic and financial sectors.
Second phase of China-Pakistan Free Trade Agreement (CPFTA), signed during the Prime Minister’s visit to Beijing in 2019, has been operationalized since 1st January 2020, he added.
He said the second phase of FTA had the potential to enhance Pakistan’s exports to China.
He said both countries had robust cooperation in banking sectors as well besides Pakistani commercial banks had started operations in China.
The State Bank of Pakistan, he said, as the regulator of the monetary and credit system of Pakistan, had a pivotal role in further deepening this relationship.