Pakistan-China ties mark 69 years of concord, co-op and connectivity

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By Naghmana
A. Hashmi

Reflecting on the monumental journey traversed by Pakistan and China over the past decades calls to mind the Chinese proverb “finding a soul mate who knows one’s heart is far harder than striking gold.”
On the international stage, where ceaseless change is the only certainty along the long road to harmonious interdependence, I marvel at the wisdom of successive generations of our two nations in forging a bond stronger than steel, and bequeathing this invaluable legacy to those to follow. Our forebears have done well by us.
The genesis
In 1950, Pakistan became the first Muslim country to recognize the People’s Republic of China (PRC).
The establishment of diplomatic ties followed a year later under handwritten instructions from Chairman Mao Zedong to the Chinese Foreign Ministry.
The first high-level contact, between Pakistani Prime Minister Mohammad Ali Bogra and Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai on the sidelines of the Bandung Conference in Indonesia in 1955, initiated a tradition of frequent exchanges that endures to this day.
Premier Zhou visited Pakistan a record four times, a feat in bilateral relations reflected in the name of the main avenue running through Islamabad’s diplomatic enclave. In Beijing, Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was the last visiting foreign leader received by Chairman Mao in May 1976, despite his frail health at the time.
In April 2015, President Xi Jinping paid a historic state visit to Pakistan, elevating the Pakistan-China all-weather strategic cooperative partnership and giving further impetus to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) as the flagship project of his visionary Belt and Road Initiative.Prime Minister Imran Khan has paid three visits to China since taking office in August 2018, each time taking Pakistan and China further along the road to a closer community of shared future in the new era and adding further substance to the depth and breadth of the cooperation.
The high-level contact between Pakistan and China goes far beyond symbolism or rhetoric.
It underlines the unshakable trust and understanding that is the hallmark of our relationship, and the consensus of our leaders provides essential guidance for continuing along our shared path toward the common goals of peace and prosperity.
The Pakistan-China friendship is based on mutual respect, enabling it to withstand the vicissitudes of history and grow irrespective of international, regional and even domestic developments.
– The Daily Mail-Beijing Reviews News exchange item