With over $18 billions China becomes Pakistan's largest trading partner
Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz Sunday said as political links between
China and Pakistan were ever strong, the growing economic ties were
now galloping under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
Addressing a ceremony featuring the Pakistan-China Joint
Cultural Performance to celebrate the 65th anniversary of
establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries,
the Adviser said China was now Pakistan's largest trading partner
with $18 billion as two-way trade.
"A question people generally ask is what makes this
relationship special. The answer is simple: Absolute mutual trust.
The people of our two countries rejoice in each other's achievements
and feel as one during sorrows. Both countries firmly believe in the
principles of sovereign equality and non-interference," he remarked.
Sartaj Aziz said China had always extended solid support to
Pakistan's territorial integrity and independence. Pakistan too had
upheld the one-China policy and supported China on issues concerning
Taiwan, Tibet and Xinjiang, he added.
Expressing his pleasure over the cultural performance, he
welcomed Chinese friends, especially the artists from Hunan
Provincial Performing Art Group to the event.
He said the 65th anniversary was not just a formal occasion.
"It is a unique celebration of a unique relationship, the like of
which will be difficult to find in human history. The relations
between countries always experience high-low period, but not
between China and Pakistan, the Adviser said.
He said,"Strong relations with China were, and are, and
will always, remain the bedrock of Pakistan's foreign policy."
The bond between the two countries, he added, had received
continuous nourishment from the leadership of both sides over
the last six decades and especially in the past two years.
"Higher than Himalayas, deeper than oceans, sweeter than
honey, dearer than eyesight, stronger than steel, valuable than
gold, have been used to describe our evergreen relationship.
These poetic expressions are not mere words but a manifestation
of the warmth and sincere feelings between the leadership and
people of our two countries," Sartaj Aziz maintained.
He said the CPEC was, no doubt, the latest landmark in their
relations but their friendship had deep historical roots.
He said monks and envoys traversed the challenging heights of
the Karakorum, Hindukush and the Himalayas to connect the Gandhara
and the Indus Valley Civilizations with the Chinese Civilization.
Fa Xian and Xuan Zang, in the fourth and seventh centuries
respectively, crossed inaccessible altitudes of these mountain
ranges. Many scholars from the territory, that is now Pakistan,
He said the best cultural representatives for any country were
its artisans and intellectuals, scholars, students, and lawmakers -
in short, a country's best cultural representatives were its people.
He said it was imperative that they continued to further expand
people-to-people contacts in the coming years. "The people are our
greatest asset. They hold the secret behind our everlasting
friendship," he added.