Imran, Li reiterate stronger Pak-China ties

Published May 21, 2021
This combo photo shows Prime Minister Imran Khan (left) and his Chinese counterpart Li Keqiang. — Photos AP/Reuters
This combo photo shows Prime Minister Imran Khan (left) and his Chinese counterpart Li Keqiang. — Photos AP/Reuters

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan and his Chinese counterpart Li Keqiang have written letters to each other to mark 70 years of Pakistan-China friendship and vowed to further strengthen ties between the two states.

They further vowed to cooperate with each other in the fight against Covid-19 and complete the much ambitious Chine-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) despite “adverse background”.

“On behalf of the government and people of Pakistan, as well as on my own behalf, I wished to extend my heartiest felicitations to you on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Pakistan.

“21st May 1951, the day when our relations were formally established, has been a watershed moment in our history. Our two people and successive leaderships and governments have made indefatigable efforts to foster, cement, and strengthen our ties. Our time-tested relationship is built around lasting values of mutual respect, mutual trust, and mutual understanding,” Mr Khan said in his letter to the Chinese premier.

Write letters to each other to mark 70 years of friendship, vow to complete CPEC despite ‘adverse background’

According to the PM Office on Thursday, Prime Minister Khan said the two governments were closely coordinating with each other in celebrating the friendship this year in a befitting manner, enabling their people to truly understand the depth, breadth and vitality of Pakistan-China ties.

“Excellency, we are immensely grateful to China for the invaluable support it extended to us to fight Covid-19 since its outbreak in December 2019. The vaccine and the equipment provided by China to contain the pandemic played a crucial role in saving precious human lives in Pakistan. We will continue to support China’s efforts to combat the pandemic both at regional and global level,” he said.

Prime Minister Khan said his government was fir­m­­ly committed to the expeditious completion of CPEC projects which would open up tremendous opportunities for growth and development in the region. “I am confident that under your leadership our ‘All-Weather Strategic Co-operative Partner­ship’ will further strengthen and flourish creating a bri­ghter and promising future for our people,” he said.

According to the PM Office, the Chinese prime minister in his letter to Mr Khan said China and Pakistan were friendly neighbours linked by mountains and waters.

Since the establishment of diplomatic relations, both countries have enjoyed firm political mutual trust, close economic cooperation and ever-increasing people-to-people friendship.

“In the face of the Covid-19 pandemic, China and Pakistan have helped each other overcome difficulties, and achieved new progress for the development of the CPEC against the adverse backdrop. The facts fully demonstrate that there are broad prospects for China and Pakistan to build an even closer community with a shared future in the new era, and will surely bring greater benefits to our two countries and peoples,” he added.

Mr Li said China had been consistent to prioritise Pakistan in its foreign policy, and was willing to make joint efforts with Pakistan, to develop the all-weather strategic cooperative partnership to a higher level over the next 70 years. “May I wish Pakistan prosperity and her people happiness. May the friendship between China and Pakistan last forever,” he added.

Meeting on housing

Prime Minister Imran Khan chaired a meeting on housing and construction and much ambitious Ravi Urban Development Plan.

The prime minister was informed that the newly devised Green Building Code would be applied in construction of houses being built under the Naya Pakistan Housing Programme.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Khan will on Friday morning virtually address Nikkei’s 26th Conference on “Future of Asia” under the theme “Shaping the Post-Covid Era: Asia’s Role in the Global Recovery”, being held in Japan.

Published in Dawn, May 21st, 2021

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