Pak-China 69 years endured friendship yields fruits: Yao Jing

ISLAMABAD, May 21 (INP): Chinese ambassador to Pakistan Yao Jing said that Pakistan-China 69 years-old endured friendship yielded fruits and positive results for the socio-economic development of the two countries.

May 21st, 2020 witnesses the 69th anniversary of the establishment of their diplomatic relations between China and Pakistan.

Highlighting the achievements of their ever-growing diplomatic relationship, Yao Jing said here in an interview to China Economic Net (CEN), that these relations stood test of the time and met the common aspirations of their people.

 During the interview, he spoke in detail on issues of China-Pakistan mutual support during the COVID-19 pandemic, progress on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), achievements in business and trade cooperation, and joint fight against the locust swarms.

About their bilateral cooperation in the fight against COVID-19, the ambassador said, this is a model of international cooperation. Our all-weather strategic and cooperative partnership is consolidated in addressing this common challenge.

He pointed out that China was deeply moved by the firm support it received from Pakistan in its effort to curb the epidemic. President Arif Alvi and Prime Minister Imran Khan sent letters of solidarity to President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang respectively.

President Arif Alvi paid a special visit to China in March this year. Prime Minister Imran Khan made a phone call to President Xi Jinping to express his support for China. Foreign Minister Qureshi held two telephone conversations with State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

The National Assembly and the Senate of Pakistan respectively passed resolutions to support China’s fight against COVID-19. Meanwhile, Pakistan has tried its best to mobilize anti-epidemic materials nationwide to support China.

Besides this, many Pakistani people, including Pakistani students studying in China, expressed their support in various ways, reflecting the rock-solid friendship between China and Pakistan.

In return, after COVID-19 broke out in Pakistan, China rushed for assistance. The Chinese central and local governments, the military, enterprises, the Red Cross Society of China, and civil society continued to provide Pakistan with urgently needed anti-epidemic materials.

Meanwhile, Yao Jing said China and Pakistan have overcome difficulties to promote the construction of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, and maintained good communication and cooperation in international and regional affairs.

When asked by the CEN’s special correspondent Yasir Habib Khan as how does CPEC supports livelihood of Pakistani people, the ambassador said, the CPEC has great contribution in this respect, as it achieved fruitful results in development of Gwadar Port, energy, infrastructure, Special Economic Zones (SEZs) and many other projects over the past six years.

Since early this year, both sides have worked closely to mitigate the challenge of COVID-19 outbreak on the sustainable development of the CPEC. There is ZERO infection in CPEC projects due to strict measures taken by both sides. The Chinese companies have not withdrawn themselves nor did they laid-off local staff.

About the impact of COVID-19 on China-Pakistan free trade agreement (CPFTA) Phase-II , Ambassador Yao Jing said, the pandemic has severely disturbed the global trade, China-Pakistan trade cooperation was affected as well. However, he said he has full confidence in the future of the bilateral trade cooperation, especially because of the CPFTA Phase-II.

About China’s support to Pakistan for debt relief, the ambassador said, China is ready to communicate and coordinate with Pakistan via bilateral channel, and to help Pakistan to concentrate resources to fight against the epidemic and stabilize the economy.

Regarding China’s plan to help Pakistan to get rid of the locust crisis, Ambassador Yao Jing said, in February, the Chinese government sent a work team of locust experts to Pakistan when China was still in critical stage of fighting against COVID-19.

They came up with an informative package of policy suggestion on comprehensive prevention and control for Pakistan. Later on, the Chinese government assisted 300 tons of malathion and 50 air-powered high-efficiency remote sprayers to Pakistan by the end of April to counter locust plague. China, he assured will continue to support Pakistan to get locust crisis, he added.

INP/JAVED