Youths win awards for promoting Pak-China friendship in their writings Ambassador Yao recalls his own school days while addressing Pakistani students

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Zubair Qureshi

Rarely, a diplomat gets emotional as he is supposed to be diplomatic but this is what happened Tuesday when Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China, Yao Jing spoke his heart out in an award-distribution ceremony while addressing the youth.
All Pakistan China Friendship Association (APCFA) and China Culture Centre (CCC) in order to mark 70 years of Pak-China Friendship and 70th anniversary of the Founding of People’s Republic of China had organized among school students the competition titled “Journey of Friendship: Celebrating Many Facets of Pak-China Friendship.”
President of ACFA Ms Attia Qutub, Secretary General Farwa Zafar, Cultural Counsellor of China Zhang Heqing, teachers and students of various schools were also present on the occasion.
Ambassador Yao Jing who was the chief guest on the occasion shared with the young minds his own school days as once he too was asked to write an essay on who is China’s best friend in the world.
He said in 1970s China had very few friends but Pakistan has been a friend of China when others have looked away. “It was either 1978 or 1979 and I was only ten then,” said Ambassador Yao Jing taking the audience down his memory lane. “Those were the days the then Prime Minister of Pakistan Zulfikar Ali Bhutto had visited China and obviously China owed a great deal to Pakistan for friendship and cooperation,” the ambassador went on to say. In my essay, I wrote about Pakistan and established the country is the best friend of China, he said. “Today when we are celebrating 70th anniversary of the Founding of the People’s Republic of China that bond of friendship has grown further stronger and deeper,” said the ambassador.
The ambassador said when he joined Foreign Ministry of China as junior diplomat he was assigned Pakistan Desk and then in 1994 he was sent to the Chinese embassy in Islamabad in 1994. I have found people of Pakistan very friendly and warm towards the Chinese and Chinese people too consider Pakistan their best friend.
He highlighted strength of the Sino-Pakistan relationship comes from its people, when people are convinced the relationship is unshakeable. He said the youth are the future and the hope for Pakistan-China relations and Pakistani youths are immensely talented.
Speaking on the occasion, President APCFA Attia Qutub stressed promoting youth awareness and cultural exchanges among young generation for people to people connectivity is central to further strengthening Pakistan-China friendship.
To enable the young generation to carry forward the legacy of Pakistan-China friendship is the need of the hour and the youth are tasked with moving forward to strengthen this relationship, she said.
“It is imperative that we instill in their minds that this friendship, its importance, develop a love, regard, respect for each other’s cultures, lifestyles, beliefs and go forward hand in hand,” said Ms Qutub.
About the poetry, essay competition, she said APCFA received over 200 submissions in Urdu and English for poetry, essays and Dialogues/skits from Schools in Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Karachi, Quetta, Lahore, Khanewal, Chakwal and Peshawar. Renowned poet and writer Kishwar Naheed and Sinologist Professor Zamir Awan were members of the judges to select the winners. There were 3 prizes for each category for Urdu and for English submissions.
A total of 20 prizes were awarded to winning students-with three students receiving 3rd prize in one category. In addition, ten students received appreciation awards as well. All students received certificates of participation and winners received shields also.

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