Address at the Commemoration of the 70th Anniversary of the Independence of Pakistan
H.E. Wang Yang, Vice Premier of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China
Islamabad, 14 August 2017
Your Excellency President Mamnoon Hussain,
Your Excellency Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Today is a day of jubilation and celebration for Pakistan. It is my great pleasure and honor to be invited by the Government of Pakistan and entrusted by President Xi Jinping to lead the Chinese delegation to the Commemoration of the 70th Anniversary of the Independence of Pakistan and share the joy with the 200 million brotherly Pakistani people. First of all, on behalf of the Chinese government and people, I wish to extend my best regards and warmest congratulations to the people of Pakistan on this special day.
Seventy years ago, under the leadership of Muhammad Jinnah, Baba-e-Qaum of Pakistan, the Pakistani people realized national independence through an arduous struggle, putting an end to their suffering under imperialist and colonial aggression and oppression. This victory completely changed the destiny of the country, giving birth to a brand-new Pakistan that stands firm in the East.
Over the past seven decades, the courageous and unyielding Pakistani people have resolutely defended their national sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity against hegemony, power politics and external interference, achieving one heroic success after another in safeguarding the country’s core interests and national dignity.
Over the past seven decades, the hard-working and talented Pakistani people have made self-reliant and painstaking efforts to develop their country despite enormous difficulties. The country has taken on a new look, with much improved infrastructure, leapfrog advances in science and technology and notably enhanced comprehensive national strength. With its GDP soaring from some two billion US dollars to more that 300 billion US dollars, Pakistan has joined the ranks of the top 50 economies in the world, and its people have made great leaps from poverty to subsistence and to initial prosperity.
Over the past seven decades, Pakistan has been committed to the path of peaceful development and to pursuing external relations on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence. Actively participating in international and regional affairs, it has played an important role in multilateral organizations such as the United Nations, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, serving as an important force in the international arena. In recent years in particular, Pakistan has been actively involved in the international fight against terrorism and UN peacekeeping operations, and made enormous sacrifice for and great contribution to world peace and regional stability.
The peace-loving people of Pakistan, having endured many hardships, are now making big strides on the path towards a bright future of development and prosperity. Though there will be twists and turns down the road, the resilient and perseverant people of Pakistan will prevail over any difficulty, and create new miracles and glories in the great cause of national prosperity, unity and people’s well-being.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
As close neighbors linked by mountains and rivers, China and Pakistan have a lips-and-teeth relationship. The Chinese and Pakistani peoples have maintained friendly exchanges since the dawn of human history. In the modern times, similar historical experiences and common struggles have brought our peoples closer together.
Since the establishment of diplomatic ties, thanks to the concerted efforts of people from all sectors in both countries, the China-Pakistan relationship has withstood the test of changes both in the international landscape and our respective countries. We have forged an all-weather friendship that is higher than mountains, deeper than oceans, stronger than steel and sweeter than honey, and engaged in all-round cooperation, setting a shining example of friendly state-to-state relations. We will not forget that it was Pakistan who spoke up for China and offered unconditional support at the crucial moment when New China was striving to break the external blockade and restore its lawful seat in the United Nations. We will not forget that back in the 1960s and 1970s, Chinese and Pakistani engineers and technicians, defying the harsh conditions on the snow-capped cliffs of the Karakoram mountain range, built the China-Pakistan Friendship Highway with their sweat and blood. We will not forget that it was Pakistan that offered immediate assistance to China in the wake of the massive earthquake in Wenchuan and sent all its tents in reserve to the affected areas with all its military transport aircraft.
Today, both China and Pakistan shoulder the historical mission of national rejuvenation. We are both pursuing the great dream of national prosperity and people’s well-being. We need close cooperation now more than ever. During President Xi Jinping’s visit to Pakistan in 2015, our bilateral relationship was upgraded to an all-weather strategic cooperative partnership, opening a new page in the history of China-Pakistan friendship and cooperation.
– China is ready to strengthen all-round strategic cooperation with Pakistan. We need to keep the tradition of close high-level exchanges, extend firm mutual support on issues concerning each other’s major interests, and strengthen cooperation in international and regional affairs. China firmly supports the efforts of the Pakistani government and people to uphold independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, and firmly supports Pakistan in developing and implementing counter-terrorism policies in light of its own national conditions, improving its external environment and expanding external exchanges and cooperation.
– China is ready to strengthen all-round economic cooperation with Pakistan. China sees Pakistan as an important partner in the Belt and Road Initiative. Following the “1+4” cooperation plan agreed by President Xi Jinping and the Pakistani leaders, we will take forward the building of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor in line with the principles of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits and launch more early harvest projects to enhance Pakistan’s capacity for independent development and deliver tangible benefits to the people along the route and all the people in Pakistan.
– China is ready to strengthen all-round people-to-people exchanges with Pakistan. We will expand cooperation in areas including education, science and technology, culture, health and sports, and encourage exchanges between youth, think-tanks, media, universities, non-governmental organizations and at the local level to enhance public support for China-Pakistan friendship and cooperation and promote closer heart-to-heart communication between our people.
As an old Chinese saying goes, “Friendship between chess playmates lasts less than a day; friendship between diners lasts less than a month; friendship based on power and influence lasts less than a year; only friendship based on shared principles lasts a lifetime.” What we have between China and Pakistan is a friendship based on shared aspirations and tested in adversity. It will not only last a lifetime, but also be passed on from generation to generation. No matter how the international environment may evolve and how China may grow, we will always be a good neighbor, a close friend, a trusted partner and a true brother for Pakistan.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Islamabad today is a city of fluttering national flags. On this sacred flag, the white and green colors symbolize peace and prosperity, and the star and the crescent represent light and progress. On behalf of the Chinese government and the Chinese people, I sincerely hope this great vision will guide Pakistan towards enduring peace and a bright future of prosperity and progress.
May the people of Pakistan enjoy happiness and well-being!
May the China-Pakistan friendship be everlasting!