Speech by Ambassador Liu Jian at the 2011 “China-Pakistan Friendship Year” and New Year Reception

Your Excellency Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi,

Ladies and gentlemen,

Good evening!

First of all, I would like to thank H.E. Asif Ali Zardari, President of Pakistan and H. E. Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani, Prime Minister of Pakistan, for their encouraging and inspiring congratulatory letters on the occasion of commencement of the “China-Pakistan Friendship Year”. I would also like to thank all of you for being with us tonight. Today is of special significance. It is the first day of the year 2011. It is also the first day of the “China-Pakistan Friendship Year” where we will jointly celebrate the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between our two countries. On this fantastic occasion, I am more than pleased to launch the “China-Pakistan Friendship Year” and greet the year 2011 together with all of you at the newly inaugurated Pakistan-China Friendship Center which symbolizes our all-weather friendship in the new era.

The year 2010 just passed witnessed a continued stable and vigorous growth of the China-Pakistan strategic partnership of cooperation. Recently, as the screen showed, Chinese premier Wen Jiabao paid a successful and historic official visit to Pakistan. The premier made broad contact with Pakistan leadership as well as people from all circles. The two sides reached broad consensus on further consolidating and deepening the China-Pakistan all-weather strategic cooperative partnership. We signed the China-Pakistan Joint Statement and announced the establishment of the leaders’ annual meeting mechanism and the foreign ministers’ dialogue mechanism. The two governments signed over 10 cooperation documents covering economy, technology, energy, finance, culture and other fields. Premier Wen Jiabao announced a package of plans for China’s involvement in Pakistan’s reconstruction efforts and China’s new assistance initiatives. The business of our two countries signed 20 commercial contracts valued at more than $10 billion showcasing the huge potential for bilateral economic and trade cooperation. Chinese premier Wen Jiabao’s productive and successful visit is of great significance to further consolidating and deepening the traditional friendship and pragmatic cooperation between our two countries.

I would like to point out that the Pakistan government and people welcomed Premier Wen Jiabao with great warmth and enthusiasm. The extensive involvement of the Pakistan people from all walks of life is a vivid depiction of the brotherly friendship that they have towards the Chinese people. It impressed the Premier’s entourage and all the Chinese. I would like to take this opportunity to express our sincere gratitude to the people of our two countries who have been engaged, either directly or indirectly, in the preparation and reception work of this historic visit. I would also like to extend our highly appreciation to all the friends who have always been dedicated to the China-Pakistan friendship.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Over the past 60 years since we established diplomatic relations, our two countries have developed an all-weather friendship and conducted multi-dimensional cooperation. In the face of a volatile international situation, the China-Pakistan friendship remains as strong and solid as a rock standing firm despite the passage of time. This is only because we always respect each other, highly trust each other, and wholeheartedly help each other. The two peoples, sharing weal and woe, have made passage together in hard times and written a number of touching chapters in our history. In 2008, when a massive earthquake struck China’s Wenchuan, Pakistan gave all its tents in reserve and provided swift emergency assistance to us. The Chinese people will never forget it. Last year, when Pakistan was hit by the catastrophic floods, the Chinese government and people felt as much pain as our Pakistan brothers did and offered timely, sincere, unconditional help to Pakistan in an unprecedented manner. As Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao elaborated in his speech at the Pakistan parliament during his recent visit, the China-Pakistan friendship has been deeply rooted in the hearts of the two peoples. It is in our blood, and has become our noble and firm conviction. A close neighbor means more than a distant relative. China and Pakistan will always be good neighbors, close friends, trusted partners and dear brothers.

Ladies and gentlemen,

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Pakistan. During his recent visit, Premier Wen Jiabao and Prime Minister Gilani jointly announced the year 2011 as the “China-Pakistan Friendship Year”. To celebrate this historic occasion, the two sides, based on the consensus reached between the two leaders, will hold a series of wonderful commemorative activities covering fields like politics, economy, culture, education, sports, military and others. We all believe that such activities will definitely further promote mutual understanding and brotherly friendship between the two peoples and bring our strategic partnership of cooperation into a new high. I sincerely hope that all the friends present tonight will continue to care about and support the China-Pakistan friendship, actively participate in activities celebrating the “China-Pakistan Friendship Year” and make fresh contributions to our traditional friendship and pragmatic cooperation.

I wish you all a very happy and prosperous new year! And I wish the event of the “China-Pakistan Friendship Year” a complete success.

Thank you!

Speech by Ambassador Liu Jian at the 2011 “China-Pakistan Friendship Year” and New Year Reception.

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