Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani said on Sunday that friendship of Pakistan and China was an anchor of peace and stability and both the countries would strengthen their ties to promote regional prosperity. Speaking at an event to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Pak-China diplomatic relations at the Pakistan-China Friendship Centre here, he said that sincerefriendship and deep affection marked the relationship between the peoples of two countries.“We are proud to have China as our best and most trusted friend. And China will always find Pakistan standing beside it at all times,” he said.
The Prime Minister said that Pakistan-China relations were a unique example of abiding friendship, immense mutual respect and close partnership, which is based on immeasurable trust.
“When we speak of this friendship as being taller than the Himalayas and deeper than the oceans it truly captures the essence of our relationship.”
Prime Minister Gilani reminded that the historic visit of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao last year, was a demonstration of the unique relationship. “The visit strengthened the existing cooperation between the two countries.”
He expressed confidence that this relationship would grow in strength in the days ahead.
“President Asif Ali Zardari has visited China six times. Each of these have been extremely beneficial and rewarding.” he said adding, “I eagerly look forward to my forthcoming visit to China later this month. We have and continue to greatly benefit from the support of the Chinese leadership. China’s unique development experience is a model for developing countries like ours to learn from.”
Prime Minister Gilani said that China’s success in various fields was a matter of great pride for the people and the Government of Pakistan. “Today China is the world’s second largest economy. China has achieved this success through hard work, ingenuity, and above all the wisdom and vision of its leadership,” he noted.
Gilani said that Pakistan was fortunate to learn from the experience of a successful friend and a great neighbour. “We are grateful to China for its commitment to share its development experience with us.”
He said successive generations of leaders in Pakistan and China have nurtured Pakistan-China relationship with a common vision.
He recalled that Premier Zhou En Lai had once said that “our relationship began with the advent of mankind”.
“The experience of our friendship in the last 60 years is a testimony to this statement. The Silk Route of yester years has been replaced by the great Karakoram Highway, which was built with the joint efforts and sacrifices of our people. It stands out as a testimony of our commitment to stand by each other. There is no friendship like ours – true and strong,” Gilani remarked.
The Prime Minister also cut a cake to celebrate the occasion.Earlier the Prime Minister inaugurated a photo exhibition depicting various aspects of the Chinese civilization, particularly of the Xinjiang region.
Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Dr. Firdous Ashiq Awan, Secretary Foreign Affairs Salman Bashir and China’s Ambassador to Pakistan Liu Jian attended the event besides a large gathering of Pakistani and Chinese citizens.