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Newsletter Feb-May 2009
Pakistan recognized the People's Republic of China on 04 January 1950. Diplomatic relations were established on 21 May 1951.
Today, Pakistan and China have immense reservoir of goodwill and soft power. The legendary friendship between Pakistan and China is palpable in the Pakistani and Chinese street and in the majestic halls of governments.
Usually Pakistani and Chinese leaders and people use six expressions to describe this unique relationship: it is higher than the mountains, deeper than the oceans, sweeter than honey, and stronger than steel. It is also an all-weather and time-tested relationship.
Over the years, the unique friendship between Pakistan and China has transformed into a strong strategic partnership, robust economic cooperation and ever increasing people to people contacts. This relationship is based on trust, understanding and common aspirations for peace and progress.
The warmth and exuberance in the relations resonates in the hearts of the people of the two countries and is fed by the constant stream of their respective civilizations.
"All-Weather and Time-Tested"
"I should like to make it clear beyond all doubt that we have friendly relations with the People's Republic of China and that nothing will be permitted in any way to endanger those relations. Our relations with China are an independent factor in our foreign policy and not contingent on any other. In the best interests of Pakistan, we shall maintain the spirit of goodwill, friendship and cordiality with the great People's Republic of China. I declare that our friendship with China is not tainted by any form of bargain or barter. It is steadfast amity between two neighbouring Asian States". (Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, 1962)
"Pakistan was one of the first countries to recognize New China. Ever since our diplomatic relations began in 1951, we have enjoyed mutual understanding, respect, trust and support and our friendship and cooperation have flourished. We are truly good neighbours, close friends, trusted partners and dear brothers". (President Hu Jintao, Islamabad, 24 November 2006)
"Perhaps no relationship between two sovereign states is as unique and durable as that between Pakistan and China. China is seen as a true, time-tested and reliable friend that has always come through for Pakistan. That the Pakistan-China friendship is higher than the peaks of Himalayas is now a truism without exaggeration. It is a friendship rooted in the hearts and minds of the People of the two countries" (An article by President Asif Ali Zardari entitled "Sino-Pakistan Relations Higher than Himalayas" published in China Daily, February 23, 2009).
"Our close and friendly relations with China have been and will remain the cornerstone of our foreign policy. We believe that our friendship and cooperation will only gain in strength in the future, fortified by our common resolve to imbue it with ever greater vigour and vitality" (Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani on the occasion of 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, 29 September 2009).
Partners for Progress and Development
"In recent years, China-Pakistan business ties have seen strong growth, becoming an important driving force of our relations. The Free Trade Agreement between China and Pakistan marks the success in the negotiations on establishing a free trade area. It will go a long way in upgrading China-Pakistan business ties. The two countries also signed the Five Year Development Programme on Trade and Economic Cooperation - a blueprint for accelerating their economic cooperation and trade in the future. The Chinese government encourages leading Chinese companies to take Pakistan as a priority destination of investment and supports them in undertaking construction projects, opening factories and conducting research and development in Pakistan. China will strengthen win-win cooperation with Pakistan in key areas such as energy and resources development, information technology, infrastructure and agriculture to give full play to our cooperative strength" (President Hu Jintao, Islamabad, 24 November 2006).
"In the present global economic downturn, China is among the few countries that have the economic muscle to pull the world out of it. China's trade with many of its neighbours is increasing at a dizzying pace. Pakistan needs to join this trend. I believe there is great potential for improvement in this vital area. Pakistan-China economic and trade relations must keep pace with political relations between the two countries. Given proper infrastructure, the Pakistani ports of Karachi, Port Qasim and Gwadar are nearer to the Chinese heartland than Shanghai and Hong Kong. Pakistan can also help channel energy supplies from the Gulf to China" (An article by President Asif Ali Zardari entitled "Sino-Pakistan Relations Higher than Himalayas" published in China Daily, February 23, 2009).
"The goal of our cooperation is to seek common development. The economies of both countries enjoy strong complementarities. Pakistan enjoys abundant resources. China possesses the applicable technologies and development. China will actively encourage the competitive enterprises to invest in Pakistan so as to achieve win-win results and create move employment opportunities in local areas" (Premier Wen Jiabao, Islamabad, 06 April 2005).
"The Chinese economic miracle has a profoundly positive impact on the world and in particular Asia. We believe that China represents for the developing countries a model of economic and social development and a model for realizing the vision for a better world. The joint 5 year programme for trade and economic cooperation, the Pakistan-China Free Trade Agreement on Goods, Services and Investment provides a viable frame-work to increase bilateral trade and spur investment. Pakistan offers vast investment opportunities in sectors like mining, engineering, automobiles, infrastructure development, health, education, telecommunication, agri-business and small and medium sized enterprises.. We welcome Chinese businessmen to invest in any sector in Pakistan and we assure you, your investments will bring rich dividends" (Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani, Beijing, 14 October 2009).
Pakistan-China friendship is rooted in shared values as well as deep and rich cultural interaction over centuries. Common geography, the same mountains and rivers straddling their borders strengthen the foundation of their time-tested ties. The rediscovery and revival of Pakistan's ancient Gandhara heritage and the ancient Silk Route that once served to link Asia and Europe, has unearthed a history of cultural interaction.
After the establishment of diplomatic relations between Pakistan and the People's Republic of China, this rich tradition of interaction has been strengthened through institutional mechanisms like the Pakistan-China Cultural Agreement; cooperation agreements between Pakistani and Chinese higher educational institutions; and the establishment of Pakistan Study Centers in Peking and Sichuan Universities in 2007, a Pakistan Culture and Communication Centre at Tsinghua University in 2008 and a Pakistan Study Centre at Fudan University (Shanghai) in 2009.