ISLAMABAD: Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Yao Jing expressed his confidence that the Pakistan-China ties will remain ever-growing in the coming years, come what may in the political horizon.
While evaluating the strength of two countries’ relationship, Yao Jing said in a press statement that as Pakistan and China have continued to consolidate their relationship over the past four decades, their bilateral ties are witness and beneficiaries of China’s journey through the reform and opening up policy.
He said that at the beginning of the reform and opening up policy, the Chinese government sent delegates to Pakistan to study its market economy and invited Pakistani experts to China to share their experiences in the utilisation of foreign funds and assistance. In addition, Pakistan is also one of China’s first partners for foreign cooperation, he added.
The Chinese envoy shared that over the years Pakistan has benefited from Chinese technology, equipment and enterprise experience and achieved economic and social progress. Chinese companies have also cultivated a large number of talents for international businesses, and gained valuable experience in global business operation, he added.
“Since the proposal of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) by President Xi Jinping, Pakistan-China relations have been a pace-setter in terms of China’s furthering of opening up and promotion of win-win cooperation,” the envoy further said.
The bilateral relationship between Pakistan and China upgraded to an all-weather strategic partnership of cooperation during Xi’s state visit to Pakistan in April 2015.
The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is also a pilot project under BRI, covering four major cooperation areas, including the Gwadar Port, transportation infrastructure, energy and industrial cooperation. The cooperation has yielded marked fruits at an early stage as 10 projects have been completed and 12 are under construction. Driven by CPEC, China has remained the largest trade partner of Pakistan for three consecutive years and Pakistan’s largest source of investment for four years in a row.
In 2017, bilateral trade volume exceeded $20 billion for the first time, and 200,000 personnel exchanges were made. At present, more than 20,000 Pakistani students are studying in China, and 5,000 of them enjoy scholarships. In the recent five years, Pakistan registered an average annual economic growth of 4.77 per cent, and the annual per capita income also grew from $1,334 in 2012 to $1,641.
Pakistan-China cooperation well illustrated the philosophy of achieving shared growth through discussion and collaboration, displaying broad prospects of cooperation. The international climate is complicated under new circumstances. The common aspiration for a better life of the people of the two countries has drawn the destinies of the two countries unprecedentedly closer.
In November, Prime Minister Imran Khan paid an official visit to China and attended the first China International Import Expo (CIIE). Leaders of the two countries agreed to further strengthen bilateral all-weather strategic partnership of cooperation to continue propelling the construction of CPEC and to build a closer community of shared future in the new era.
“Pakistan and China should share the vision for development. China always prioritises Pakistan in its foreign diplomacy, supports the latter to smoothly implement and promote national construction, and collaborates its policies with the latter’s so as to jointly realise the great dream of building a strong country and delivering a better life for the people,” the envoy concluded.