President Usman Aminuddin,
Secretary General Irshad Ullah-Khan,
Ladies, gentlemen and friends,
Aslam Alegum and a very good afternoon to you all!
I am very glad to attend the Oxbridge Lecture today and share with the friends from Oxford and Cambridge Society and other walks of life the China-Pakistan friendship.
The Oxford and Cambridge Society is a renowned think-tank in Pakistan. All of its members are graduates of Oxford and Cambridge Universities who have made remarkable contributions to the national development of Pakistan. I highly appreciate your commitment and support to the China-Pakistan friendship and cooperation over the past years.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Last week, Chinese President Xi Jinping has paid a successful state visit to Pakistan. The visit has greatly promoted the unique friendly relations between China and Pakistan and ushered in the new chapter of China-Pakistan all-round cooperation. In my perspective, this visit has the following features:
First, this visit has historic significance to the China-Pakistan relations. It is the first visit to Pakistan by President Xi since he assumed the presidency. It is also the first visit to Pakistan by Chinese President in 9 years. More importantly, Pakistan is the first stop for President Xi's visit this year, which clearly shows the great significance the Chinese side attaches to Pakistan. It sent out clear and positive signal that China always puts Pakistan as its priority of diplomacy.
Although this visit is less than 30 hours, nearly 20 programs were successfully arranged. During the visit, President Xi held talks with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, met with President Hussain as well as leaders of Parliament, the military and political parties, delivered a keynote speech at the Parliament, attended with Prime Minister the agreements signing ceremony and planted the tree of friendship, conferred the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence Friendship Award to 7 representatives of friendly personages and groups, received the Nishan-e-Pakistan from President Hussain, etc.
The most important outcome of the visit is that, both leaders agreed to uplift the China-Pakistan relationship to the All-Weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership and enrich China-Pakistan Community of Shared Destiny. All-weather means our relationship is as firm as rock and can withstand any hardship and turbulence. This unique term in China's foreign relations is the testimony to the unique friendship between our two countries. This visit provided the strategic framework for China-Pakistan cooperation in the next 5 to 10 years, clearly formulated the overall direction, strategic vision and concrete measures. It has become a milestone in China-Pakistan relationship.
Second, the outcome of the visit is very fruitful. President Xi and Prime Minister Sharif attended 9 projects unveiling ceremony, 5 projects ground-breaking ceremony via video link and witnessed more than 50 cooperation documents signing and exchange ceremony. These outcomes covers extensive areas of cooperation, such as transport infrastructure, energy, agriculture, trade, finance, health, local governments, media, marine science, education, etc.
Among all the outcomes, several ones are worth our attention. Both sides signed the Joint Statement on Establishing the All-Weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership. Both sides agreed that the two wheels of economic cooperation and security cooperation need to be rolled together, thus to set up the fundamental framework of China-Pakistan strategic cooperation. Both sides agreed to formulate the 1+4 cooperation structure, that is, to take China-Pakistan Economic Corridor as the center and take Gwadar Port, energy, transport infrastructure and industrial cooperation as the four keys. Both sides agreed to increase the bilateral trade volume to US20 billion within the next 3 years. The Silk Road Fund will cooperate with Chinese Company to invest in the clean energy projects such as Karot Hydropower Station. This is the first investment project of the Silk Road Fund since its establishment. Also, China announced to provide assistance to the FATA reconstruction and well-being projects so as to improve the people's livelihood.
Besides, both sides agreed to establish China-Pakistan Joint Research Center for Small Hydropower, Joint Cotton Bio-Tech Laboratory and Joint Marine Research Center. CCTV News and Documentary Channels will be broadcast in Pakistan soon. Three pairs of cities between our two countries have established sister-city relations.
Third, this visit was warmly welcomed by the Pakistani government and people. During the preparations, the Pakistani leaders, politicians and friends told me that the two peoples of Pakistan and China are like a family and the Pakistani government and people would warmly welcome the long-awaited visit by President Xi. They would extend the warmest hospitality to the top leader from the brotherly country. We are deeply moved by those warm and kind words.
During the visit, the government and people of Pakistan extended President Xi with the highest courtesy and warmest hospitality. President Hussein and Prime Minister Sharif led the key cabinet ministers and military leaders to welcome President Xi at the airport and hosted a grand welcoming ceremony. Eight JF-17 fighters escorted President Xi's special plane after entering and before leaving Pakistani airspace. Pakistani children performed songs and dances to welcome President Xi. Large banners, posters, paintings and decorative lighting were seen along the way from the airport to Islamabad and on major streets and buildings in Islamabad. During the visit, the Chinese delegation was overwhelmed with the warmth of being at home all the time.
During President Xi's speech at the Parliament, the 30 minute speech received over 50 times of table claps and applause from the lawmakers. After the speech, Prime Minister Sharif personally accompanied President Xi to the Presidency in the protocol horse carriage. These high-level hospitalities fully demonstrate the importance and sincere friendship that the Pakistani side attaches to President Xi's visit. I want to quote President Xi as saying that "this is my first visit to Pakistan, but I feel like visiting the home of my brother." I would like to hereby extend my sincere gratitude to the government and people of Pakistan for your hospitality!
Ladies and gentlemen,
President Xi's state visit has launched a new chapter in the China-Pakistan relations, and injected fresh and strong impetus to the development of China-Pakistani relations. We should take this opportunity to promote the implementation of agreements and outcomes of the visit and bring benefit to the people of Pakistan at an early date. I'd like to use the following key points to sum up what we should do for the next step.
First, fully focus on implementation. The outcome documents signed during this visit is encouraging, but the more important part is to implement these agreements and deliver results. Action is louder than words. The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is a historical opportunity for China-Pakistan cooperation and Pakistan's future development. China-Pakistan cooperation is always on the way, and opportunities always belong to those with vision and action.
The Chinese Government will continue to encourage Chinese enterprises to invest in Pakistan in support of Pakistan's economic and social development. China's support for Pakistan is sincere, down-to-earth and mutually beneficial. With the gradual implementation of CPCE and other cooperation projects, I'm convinced that more investment, technology and talent will be brought into Pakistan. China is ready to promote bilateral pragmatic cooperation to bear more fruitful results through various channels, including through free grants, soft loans, direct investment, and industrial cooperation.
Second, promote mutual exchanges. 2015 is the Year of China-Pakistan Friendly Exchanges. China and Pakistan will hold various activities to promote broad exchanges in culture, education, local administration, youth, think tanks, media and etc. China has set up a culture center in Islamabad to encourage mutual learning and exchanges in culture and art. In the next five years, China will provide 2,000 training opportunities for Pakistan and train 1,000 Chinese language teachers for Pakistan, to support Pakistan in strengthening human resources development and language teaching.
China and Pakistan should continue with the exchange of visits of Hundred Group of Youth and media delegations. We will translate and publish more quality publications from each other. We will hold Photo Exhibition on China-Pakistan Friendship History. We will also organize receptions for Pakistani friends from all circles in order to reunite with old friends while making new friends.
Third, expand wide coverage. President Xi's recent visit has achieved a lot of fruits concerning CPEC. Next, both sides should make efforts to promote the KKH Phase II (Takot to Havelian section), Gwadar Port Eastbay Expressway, New Gwadar International Airport, Karachi-Lahore Motorway (Multan-Sukkur Section) and other priority cooperation projects and energy projects. These projects will cover all the provinces of Pakistan, benefit all Pakistani people, create new job opportunities and help upgrade the overall economic strength of Pakistan.
The planning and development of CPEC is facing all regions of Pakistan and the people of Pakistan. We will integrate the mid-western part into the mid and long-term plan, so as to accommodate the development demands of various regions. We will advance CPEC in a comprehensive, balanced and stable way. China has decided to provide free assistance to support FATA reconstruction and related livelihood projects. China will also provide assistance to promote Gwadar community welfare. These measures will effectively promote economic development in the mid-western part of Pakistan and improve people's livelihood. It is hoped that these assistance could be made good use of so as to produce good results at an early date.
Fourth, put emphasis on security. Our two countries share a common stake in security. China and Pakistan will continue to strengthen the cooperation on anti-terrorism, defense and international and regional security issues. China firmly supports Pakistan to maintain independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, promote counter-terrorism strategy based on its national conditions, and will continue to help Pakistan to improve its counter-terrorism capacity.
With the implementation of large number of cooperation projects, more and more Chinese companies and engineers will come to Pakistan. I hope that Pakistan continues to attach great importance to the security of Chinese institutions and persons and take more effective measures of protection, in order to promote the construction of the corridor and the smooth progress of practical cooperation.
Fifth, keep in mind the broad view on our cooperation. CPEC is the fore-runner and important component of the Belt and Road Initiative proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping. It will play a leading role in building the closer regional cooperation in the future. The construction of CPEC reflects the spirit of mutual benefit, inclusiveness and solidarity. It will help achieve lasting peace and common prosperity in the region. We should understand the importance of CPEC and jointly promote the cooperation initiatives between China and South Asian countries from the perspective of regional cooperation and south-south cooperation.
This year marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations and the victory of the World Anti-Fascist War. China and Pakistan have reaffirmed the solemn commitment to the Charter of the United Nations and safeguard the victory of the Second World War. Both sides are committed to safeguarding the contemporary world order and international system based on the Charter of United Nations. Both sides should work together to build a new type of international relations featuring win-win cooperation.
All in all, the state visit of the Chinese President Xi Jinping to Pakistan has set the direction and built a framework for the long-term cooperation between the two countries. For the sake of well-being of the two peoples, both sides should take the Pak-China relationship from a strategic height and long-term perspective. We should get our national interests, development strategies and future destiny interlinked so as to achieve the common objectives of China-Pakistan Community of Shared Destiny at an early date.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
China-Pakistan relationship has gone through 64 years. Regardless of changes in the international and domestic situation, our bilateral relations have maintained the momentum of sound and stable development. Both sides always render each other mutual respect, mutual understanding and mutual support on issues related to each other's core interests. The national interests of our two countries are deeply integrated. The Chinese people call Pakistan "Iron Pak", and the Pakistani people always say Pakistan-China friendship is nationwide consensus in Pakistan. This fully proves that China-Pakistan friendship is unique and has deeply rooted in the hearts of the two peoples.
As the great leader of the Chinese people Chairman Mao Zedong has ever put it, all those glorious achievements belong to the past and we should make new endeavors again from the beginning. And now, China-Pakistan all-weather friendship and all-round cooperation is standing at a brand-new starting point. I have full confidence in the future of China-Pakistan relations. I hope members of the Oxford and Cambridge Society of Pakistan and the people from all walks of life continue to make contributions to China-Pakistan friendship and cooperation. We should work together to expedite the construction of China-Pakistan community of shared destiny so as to set up an example of state-to-state relations, and bring more benefits to our two peoples.
May China-Pakistan friendship last forever and be carried forward from generation to generation!