Your Excellency Senate Chairman Bokhari, Your Excellency National Assembly Speaker Mirza
, Your Excellencies Members of the Senate, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am so glad to visit the beautiful country of Pakistan on the occasion of the 62nd anniversary of China-Pakistan diplomatic relations and it is a great honor to address the Senate of Pakistan. First of all, I wish to extend, on behalf of the Chinese government and people, our warmest greetings and best wishes to the brotherly Pakistani people. I wish also to express our heartfelt thanks and pay high tribute to friends from all sectors of Pakistani society who have worked so hard over the years to promote friendship with China.
This is my second visit to Pakistan. Twenty-seven years ago, I led a Chinese youth delegation
on a visit to Pakistan and met with both government leaders and ordinary people in this country. Every time we parted, they would always say to me: “Chin-Pak dosti zandabad (Long live China-Pakistan friendship)!”
Having received such gracious hospitality from the Pakistani government and people during my current visit, I am once again deeply moved by the outpouring of fraternity from the Pakistani people. This experience has strengthened my conviction that China-Pakistan friendship is rock-firm and full of vitality.
Pakistan is a great country with a time-honored history and a brilliant culture. When civilization was still in its infancy in many parts of the world, a splendid civilization had already risen on this land. The ancient ruins of Mohenjo-daro, the exquisite art of Gandhara, the legendary Lahore Fort and the magnificent Badshahi Mosque stand testimony
to Pakistan’s rich and fascinating culture.
The people of this land are hard-working, talented and courageous. Despite conflicts and disasters they suffered from in the past centuries, they have forged ahead with tenacity and fortitude and created one miracle after another. Since the founding of Pakistan over 60 years ago, the Pakistani government and people have successfully met grave challenges and made remarkable achievements in national development and renewal. We salute your success from the bottom of our heart and sincerely hope that the brotherly Pakistani people will make even greater progress in their development endeavors.
Pakistan is actively involved in regional and international affairs and committed to upholding regional and world peace and stability. With growing international standing, Pakistan is playing an important role in both Asia and the world at large. As an important member of the OIC, Pakistan is an influential country in the Islamic world.
Pakistan has taken an active part in the regional cooperation process of South Asia. It stands for resolving differences through peaceful dialogue and works with other countries in South Asia to promote prosperity and development in this region, thus contributing greatly to regional and international security. These efforts have won Pakistan recognition and respect from the international community. We are happy to see Pakistan playing an important and constructive role in regional and international affairs.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
China-Pakistan friendly exchanges are rooted in history. The ancient Silk Road connected us together. Two eminent Chinese monks, Fahien in the East Jin dynasty and Huen Tsang in the Tang dynasty, studied and taught Buddhism in Pakistan, marking an important page in the friendly exchanges between our two countries.
The formal establishment of China-Pakistan diplomatic ties in 1951 ushered our friendly relations into a new era. In the 62 years since then, the all-weather friendship and all-round cooperation between China and Pakistan have stood the test of the changing global environment and set a fine example for the growth of state-to-state relations. The following experience we have gained in growing China-Pakistan relations is an invaluable asset for both countries and should be carried into the future.
-- We treat each other with sincerity. Both China and Pakistan stand firm on principle and act in good faith. We respect each other, treat each other with sincerity and enjoy a high degree of mutual trust. Over the past half century and more, China-Pakistan friendly relations have grown in strength from one generation to another, regardless of any change in the international environment or domestic politics. Ours is a brotherly friendship that has been tested by times of difficulty and forged by mutual trust. As our Pakistani friends eloquently put it, “We can give up gold, but not our friendship.”
--We support each other and cooperate for mutual benefit. China and Pakistan share the same destiny. We stand together in both good and hard times and treat each other as brothers. We will never forget that on issues concerning China’s core interests, Pakistan has always given China unreserved and valuable support. We will never forget that in the 1960s, Pakistani International Airlines (PIA), with a resounding statement, “PIA, First to China”, launched the first flight to China, which served as an air corridor linking China with the outside world. And we will never forget that after a massive earthquake hit China’s Wenchuan in 2008, Pakistan immediately provided all of its tents in reserve as well as other relief supplies to China.
On our part, the Chinese government and people have always stood firmly on the side of Pakistan during the crucial and difficult times when Pakistan was endeavoring to uphold its sovereignty and independence, promote economic and social development, and maintain regional security.
-- We have forged close friendship based on popular support. China-Pakistan friendship is built on a profound and broad popular basis, and it is deeply rooted in the hearts of the two peoples. Chinese netizens refer to Pakistan by the endearing name of “Iron Pak”, which means Pakistan is a friend as firm and solid as iron to China. In Pakistan, people often say, “If you love Pakistan, please also love China.” And here is a story that has deeply moved the 1.3 billion Chinese people: Near the city of Gilgit, there is a Chinese cemetery where over 140 Chinese workers who lost their lives in the construction of the Pakistani section of the Karakorum Highway (KKH) are buried.
For over 30 years, some Pakistanis volunteered to work as cemetery keepers. One of them passed away due to illness a few years ago, but his child immediately took over as the new keeper of the cemetery. Today, the young saplings
in the cemetery have grown into towering trees. We are truly proud to have such a devoted and enduring friend in Pakistan.
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