Honorable Major General Noel Khokhar,
Dear teachers and students,
Ladies and gentlemen,
Aslam Alegum and a very warm good morning to you all!
It is my great pleasure to have this opportunity to come to the National Defense University and share ideas with you. National Defense University is one of the most prestigious military academies in Pakistan. It is the cradle of a large number of military talents, including the Chiefs of Army, Navy and Air Force. Its national security training program is very productive and the 16th program is coming to its conclusion. Congratulations on the success of this program.
This is my second visit to the National Defense University. Last September, I was invited to give a speech on China's foreign policy on South Asia and China-Pakistan relations for the students of “National War and Security Courses 2013-14”. I was deeply impressed by the beautiful and clean campus environment, the teachers’ professionalism and the students’ insights.
Today, I am about to give a speech entitled “China-Pakistan relations” and share my thoughts on the time-tested China-Pakistan strategic partnership, the opportunities and challenges for the bilateral relations and how to move forward in the future. It is not an easy topic. I hope my speech today could give you some inspiration.
Let me start with China’s development. If you were in China in late 1970s and early 1980s, you would see people dressed in drab clothes and riding bikes in big cities like Beijing, Shanghai. But nowadays, you would see urban residents wearing trendy clothes, driving cars, using the latest smart mobile phones, and living a life full of variety. Take a look back. Since China’s reform and opening up in 1978, it has made great achievements over the three decades. China’s per capita Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was about 149 US dollars in 1978, and it was increased to more than 6700 US dollars last year, an increase of nearly 45 times. China has become the world’s second largest economy, and its contribution to the world economic growth rate now stands at 30%. China’s total imports and exports reached 4.16 trillion US dollars last year, ranking first in the world.
Despite such achievements, China’s position as the world’s largest developing country has not changed. Despite its fast growth and large economic size, China is still faced with pressure of big population and scarce resources. In 2013, China’s per capita GDP ranks 86th in the world. There are still 20 million people living below the poverty line. China, as a member of developing countries, will always be a reliable friend of developing countries.
At present, China’s economy keeps stable growth and is showing a new trend. China’s economic growth becomes more stable with its dynamic for growth more diverse, its economic structure optimized and upgraded and its development prospects more promising.
Chinese people are proud of the great achievements in nation building since the founding of New China, especially since the reform and opening up. If there is any good experience we could share, that is China always sticks to the leadership of the Communist Party of China, has found a Chinese road of development in line with its national conditions and the world situation, and adheres to the socialist market economy. China always pushes forward reforms in various fields, expands opening-up, and balances the relations among reform, development and stability. We promote social harmony and stability, maintain a clean and efficient government, pursue for common prosperity of the people and adhere to developing a new type of international relations with peace, development and win-win cooperation as its core. Chinese people are making strides towards the goal of Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation.
Dear teachers and students,
China and Pakistan have a lot in common. We are both developing countries, and have the important mission of national development and prosperity. China and Pakistan are close neighbors and have a long history of friendly exchanges. As early as 399 AD, the Chinese monk Fa Xian traveled westward to Pakistan. 1300 years ago, the monk Xuanzang came to Taxila to learn Sanskrit books and Buddhist law via the “Silk Road”. They made important contribution for early people-to-people exchanges between China and South Asia.
In 1951, China and Pakistan established formal diplomatic relations. Pakistan was one of the first countries to recognize China. This opened a new chapter of history of bilateral friendly cooperation. To develop China-Pakistan strategic partnership has won sincere support from both leaders and people. China-Pakistan friendship goes beyond the changing times and political situations, and set a good example to other countries. In the past 60 years, China and Pakistan relations witnessed a rapid development. We have learned a lot of valuable experience in the development of bilateral relations. We should cherish and carry forward them. I think the nature of China and Pakistan relations has four features:
First, China and Pakistan are friends based on mutural trust and morality. In Chinese saying, only the friendship based on morality could last a lifetime. No matter how the international and domestic situations change, China-Pakistan relationship was always moving forward. Pakistan firmly supports China on the issues of Taiwan, Tibet, Xinjiang and other issues concerning China's core interests. China also always firmly supports Pakistan in safeguarding its independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, and provides sincere and selfless assistance to Pakistan to help it achieve economic development and social stability.
Secondly, China and Pakistan are partners based on win-win cooperation. The friendship between gentlemen is as pure as crystal, with no impurity and vanity inside. China and Pakistan respect each other, and treat each other with sincerity in cooperation. And bilateral cooperation is practical and without any political conditions.
40 years ago, hundreds of the Chinese workers sacrificed their lives in the construction of the Karakoram Highway projects, and have built the Road of China-Pakistan Friendship with their blood. After 40 years, China has become Pakistan’s second largest trading partner, while Pakistan becomes China’s largest investment destination in South Asia. In the first nine months this year, total bilateral trade reached 11.5 billion US dollars, a new high with an increase of 10 percent. The construction of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is progressing well and it covers all areas including energy, finance, information and communications. The Corridor covers the whole territory of Pakistan and will bring benefit to all Pakistanis. China will continue to encourage Chinese enterprises with strength and will to invest in Pakistan and support Pakistan's economic and social development.
Third, China and Pakistan are partners with intimate souls. “Friends will not go against their souls.” The friendship between China and Pakistan is not only reflected in the all-round cooperation, but is also deeply rooted in the hearts of the two peoples. In Pakistan, both high officials and the ordinary people regard Chinese as family members. Chinese netizens call Pakistani brothers “iron Pak”. In the hearts of Chinese People, Pakistan is always China’s iron-core brother.
China-Pakistan relationship blossoms because it is rooted in people’s hearts. This year, an Art troupe from Kashgar has made a fabulous cultural show. Chinese delegation of calligraphers and artists made a successful visit to Pakistan and held an art exhibition of Chinese paintings. Around 220 Pakistani students are provided with Chinese government scholarships to study in China every year. And the number of government scholarships given to Pakistan students is among the highest that given to other countries by Chinese Government. 2015 is China-Pakistan friendly exchanges year. We are trying to create more opportunities to promote the exchanges of education, culture, science, technology, media and tourism as well as local government’s officials. These exchanges will become the bridges of mutual understanding between our two peoples.
Forth, China and Pakistan are close and intimate friends. A Chinese saying goes, “The strength of the concentric brothers is as solid as gold and the swear of the united brothers is as fragrant as orchid.” The friendship between China and Pakistan is indeed as solid as gold and as fragrant as orchid. Over the years, our two countries have extended helping hands to each other at critical moments and together share the weal and woe.
At such crucial moments as New China broke through external blockade, restored its legitimate representation in the United Nations and realized normalization of relations with the United States, Pakistan provided valuable assistance. In 2008, when an extraordinarily devastating earthquake hit Wenchuan of Sichuan, China, Pakistan provided all its reserve tents to China. In 2010, people from China’s Xinjiang risked their lives to deliver winter supplies to the Pakistanis stranded by Landslide Lake. This year, when floods hit Pakistan, Chinese government and people generously supported Pakistan with the flood relief and reconstruction items. As friendly neighbors, China and Pakistan maintain close communication and coordination on international and regional issues of common concerns. China has always firmly supported Pakistan's development and implementation of anti-terrorism security strategy based on its national conditions.
Pakistan armed forces have played a substantial role in promoting China-Pakistan friendship, and made great contributions to our bilateral cooperation. Many of you experienced and promoted military-to-military cooperation between China and Pakistan. Please allow me to take this opportunity to extend my sincere gratitude to all of you.
China-Pakistan friendship is higher than mountains. It is true. Karakoram highway passes through the western end of the Himalayas and Karakoram mountains and closely links China and Pakistan. The“JF-17” jointly developed by our two countries flies over the high mountain showcasing the height of China-Pakistan pragmatic cooperation. China and Pakistan are close and friendly neighbors. China is ready to work with Pakistan to develop and deepen the bilateral strategic cooperative partnership.
Dear teachers and students,
China and Pakistan are both integrated in the tide of world peace and development. The two countries are linked by mountains and rivers and the two peoples share a traditional friendship. China and Pakistan are faced with favorable conditions of a good opportunity, geographical convenience and common resolve to develop bilateral relations.
First, we should follow the trend of peace and development and enhance closer China-Pakistan relations. Today’s world is an interdependent world. China cannot live without the world and the world cannot live without China. China and Pakistan should keep pace with the trend and further consolidate and develop traditional friendship. We should take the common opportunities and achieve common development with mutual respect, support and trust. Leaders of our two nations have frequently exchanged visits in recent years. Mutual political trust is continuously consolidated. President Mamnoon Hussain and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif have visited China twice this year respectively, and reached important consensus with Chinese leaders on bilateral relations and other major issues. China and Pakistan will continue to maintain the momentum of frequent high-level exchanges, firmly support each other's major interests and concerns, and to further enhance the basis of political cooperation and mutual trust level.
Second, we should take advantage of the momentum of Asian connectivity and consolidate our mutual beneficial and win-win bilateral relations. The 21st century is Asia’s century. As the convergence of ancient civilizations and emerging powers, Asia embraces strong development momentum and broad prospects. Currently, Asia is actively promoting regional cooperation and connectivity. Chinese President Xi Jinping has made a lot of strategic planning to promote regional economic integration, including the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. The “Belt and Road Initiatives” create a good platform for the common development of China and Asian counties and will contribute to the Asian connectivity and win-win cooperation. In October, more than 20 Asian countries signed in Beijing an intergovernmental MoU on the establishment of Asian infrastructure investment bank. The Bank is a useful supplement to the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and other existing financial institutions. China has invested $ 40 billion to set up the Silk Road Fund, welcome foreign investors in the Asian region to actively participate and provide financing support for the countries in infrastructure construction, resource development and industrial cooperation. China and Pakistan are important countries in Asia and have decided to build China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. This will greatly broaden and deepen pragmatic cooperation, benefit our two peoples and greatly contribute to the prosperity and progress of the whole Asia.
Third, realize our development dream and build the community of shared destiny. To achieve the Chinese dream of great rejuvenation is to achieve national prosperity, rejuvenation and people’s happiness. What does a peaceful, developing and strong China mean to Pakistan? I think it means more opportunities for development, strong mutual support and expanding common interests. Pakistan is bound to benefit from China's development. The China-Pakistan relationship will also be consolidated, enhanced and upgraded in the course of China's development. China is committed to building the community of common destiny with neighboring countries. China will continue to follow the principles of amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness in conducting neighborhood diplomacy. China will promote friendship and partnership with its neighbors, foster an amicable, peaceful and prosperous neighborhood environment, and boost win-win cooperation and connectivity with our neighbors. China is ready to build the community of shared destiny with Pakistan and achieve Chinese dream with Pakistani “Asian Tiger Dream” together.
Dear teachers and students,
China-Pakistan relationship is facing important opportunities for development, we need to uphold and carry forward our good traditions, consolidate traditional friendship and continue to make headway. Let the next 60 years of China-Pakistan relations more flourishing. We need vision and renovation. We need courage and confidence to forward solid advance.
We will always stand together with Pakistani brothers to realize our common dreams.
May the National Security Workshop a great success! May the NDU make greater achievement in the future!May China-Pakistan friendship last forever!
Chin-Pak dosti zindabad!