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2015 formally inaugurated as year of Pak-China friendship  

ISLAMABAD: The year 2015 has been formally inaugurated as the year of Pak-China friendship in China and Pakistan.

A formal ceremony was held at the Pak-China friendship centre in Islamabad on Thursday. Speaker National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq and Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi were chief guests on the occasion.
Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif, advisor to prime minister on foreign affairs, Sartaj Aziz and Chinese ambassador to Pakistan Sun Vi Dang also participated in the ceremony.

Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi said that Pak-China relations are higher than the diplomatic agenda of both the countries.

Speaker National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq said that Pakistan and China are time-tested friends, neighbours and strategic partners, saying that this partnership enjoys across-the-board popular, political and institutional support in both the countries.

He said while addressing a ceremony in Islamabad, on Thursday to formally inaugurate the “Year of Friendly Exchanges between Pakistan and China.” Mr. Wang Yi, Foreign Minister of the People’s Republic of China was also present in the ceremony.

The Speaker said that ever-since the leadership transitions in Pakistan and China in 2013, relations between our two countries have continued to maintain a steady, upward trajectory which testified the essence of Pak-China friendship.

He said that it is based on a bond that has not only stood the test of time but has remained above all domestic or regional changes. Winds of political change have swept across the region and beyond, but Pakistan-China friendship has remained steady as a rock, he added.

He said that the people of Pakistan were impatiently looking forward to His Excellency President Xi Jinping’s visit to Pakistan which would inject fresh impetus into the “all weather multi-dimensional strategic Pak-China relationship’.

Sardar Ayaz Sadiq said that political relations and economic cooperation are not the only drivers of our bilateral relations. Perhaps our greatest asset is that the peoples of the two countries who have a sense of affection and love for each other.

He said that it is our sacred duty to nurture these sentiments among our future generations.

He said that Pakistan firmly adheres to the “One China Policy” and supports China on issues of its core interests. He said that both the countries were committed to address the common challenges of terrorism and extremism.

The Speaker said that the past six decades have seen the development of a meaningful partnership across Himalayas not only manifested in the construction of Karakorum Highway or sophisticated JF-17 Thunder Aircraft, but is also firmly rooted in the hearts and minds of the people of our two countries.

He said that China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is yet another flagship project for the new phase of our relationship.

Mentioning the Chinese support for the “Green Parliament Project” at the Parliament House through the generous Chinese grant was yet another milestone and a one-of-its-kind project envisages shifting all the energy needs of the Parliament buildings on solar power, hence making Pakistan’s Parliament the first in the world to go green. Recollecting his recent visit to China on invitation of his Chinese Counterpart, he said that he had the pleasure to represent Pakistan at a similar function in Beijing.

He said that people to people and exchanges at political as well as parliamentary level during the year 2015 will induce impetus to the excellent bilateral relations between Pakistan and China.
He said that parliamentary exchanges reflect the firm commitment of our respective leaderships to each other. The Ceremony was attended by a large number of Parliamentarians, diplomats and diverse gathering of distinguished Chinese and Pakistani citizens.