Pakistan-China 65 Years : From Friends to Strategic Partners

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 ISLAMABAD, May 15 (APP): Pakistan and China are celebrating 

2016 as a year of friendship to mark 65 years of diplomatic relations

that are constantly moving on an ascending trajectory and gaining

strength with the passage of time.

The two countries have prepared a number of events to celebrate

the anniversary of their friendship, which is unique in many ways

in the recent history of state-to-state and people-to-people relations.

The friendly relationship has been described over the years by

the leaderships of the two countries as all-weather, time-tested,

deeper than the oceans and higher than Himalayas, sweeter than honey,

and lately, as strategic and stronger than steel. These expressions

are not simple cliches but truly reflect the strength, depth and

maturity of the relationship constructed over the last 65 years.

Evolution of this extraordinary relationship owes its genesis

to the vision of the leadership of the two countries, who based

the relationship on the principles of peaceful co-existence,

commonality of interests, and shared perceptions on regional

and global developments.

On May 21, 1951, China and Pakistan established formal

diplomatic relations. Pakistan was one of the first countries

to recognize China. This opened a new chapter of history of

bilateral friendly cooperation. To develop China-Pakistan

strategic partnership has won sincere support from both

leaders and peoples.

As friendly neighbours, China and Pakistan maintain close

communication and coordination on international and regional

issues of common concerns. China has always firmly supported

Pakistan's development and implementation of anti-terrorism

security strategy based on its national conditions.

Pakistan firmly supports China on the issues of Taiwan,

Tibet, Xinjiang and other issues concerning China's core

interests. China also firmly supports Pakistan in

safeguarding its independence, sovereignty and territorial

integrity.

Leaders of our two nations have frequently exchanged

visits in recent years. President Mamnoon Hussain and Prime

Minister Nawaz Sharif have visited China twice and reached

important consensus with Chinese leaders on bilateral relations

and other major issues.

 

Economic cooperation:

 

China has become Pakistan's second largest trading partner,

while Pakistan becomes China's largest investment destination

in South Asia with total bilateral trade reached at 18 billion

US dollars. Positive developments were registered in previous

years as trade volume between the two sides grew from $5.7bn

to $100.11bn during a 15-year period from 2000 to 2015 while

total value of contracts signed between the two in this period

went from $1.8bn to $150.8bn.

The construction of 46 billion US dollars China-Pakistan

Economic Corridor (CPEC) is progressing well and covers all

areas including energy, finance, information and communications

 

Defence cooperation:

 

In the field of defence, China has extended invaluable

cooperation that extends to all three services. It has assisted

Pakistan in setting up Pakistan Aeronautical Complex, Heavy

Industries Taxila, several production lines in the Pakistan

Ordnance Factories, and maritime projects for the navy and

missile factories. The Pakistan Aeronautical Complex at

Kamra, Heavy Forge and Foundry, Heavy Mechanical Complex,

Heavy Re-build Factory at Taxila and Pakistan Steel Mill

at Karachi are more such examples.

The production of JF-17 Thunder fighter aircraft at

Aeronautical Complex Kamra stands out as a monumental

cooperation between the two countries.

 

Nuclear cooperation:

 

China has been a strong vocal and avid supporter of

Pakistan's nuclear power generation for peaceful purposes.

CHASNUPP-I is the commercial nuclear power plant in Punjab

set up with Chinese assistance by its CNNC (China National

Nuclear Corporation) under International Atomic Energy

Agency (IAEA) safeguards. Construction of CHASNUPP-II started

in December 2005.

 

Cultural Relations:

 

Both states have given importance to cultural relations to

increase people-to-people cooperation through exchange of cultural

troupes. China appreciates Pakistan's effort to expand Chinese

language and Confucius Institutes in Pakistan.