Today marks the 73rd Anniversary of the Founding of the People’s Republic of China. I would like to sincerely wish all the Chinese compatriots living and working in Punjab to stay safe, healthy, happy and prosperous. I also take this opportunity to express my condolences to the victims of the floods in Pakistan, and share grief and sorrow with members of the bereaved families. Since the devastating floods hit the country, China has rushed to Pakistan’s aid in the need of the hour. By the end of September, China has pledged and delivered its humanitarian assistance to Pakistan worth about RMB 600 million(equals to PRS 20 billion) in cash and kind. The Chinese community in Punjab has also given a helping hand to the relief efforts in the disaster-stricken areas of south Punjab. The timely support manifests once again the all-weather brotherly bonding between China and Pakistan. The 71-year old China-Pak diplomatic history informs that the Chinese people have been in solidarity with the Pakistanis all along the way, and our two countries always stand by each other for better or for worse. We are committed to further helping Pakistani brothers in their post-calamity rehabilitation and reconstruction process. I believe the Pakistanis, with support of the international community, and under the leadership of its government, central and provincial, can effectively overcome the prevailing difficulties and rebuild their homeland at the earliest.

Over the past most than seven decades and the recent 10 years in particular, China has made tremendous progress in all fronts. We have followed the people-centric development philosophy, and the over 1.4 billion Chinese are working for a better life and shared prosperity with their hard work and ingenuity. We have ensured that the people are the master of their destiny. We have been striving for green development and promoting harmonious coexistence of man and nature. We are making relentless efforts to the building of a community with a shared future for mankind. China has the lowest COVID-19 incidence rate and death toll among the worldmajor countries. China has successfully eliminated absolute poverty, achieved rapid economic growth while enjoying long-term social stability.

We have stood up, we have grown prosperous, and we are becoming strong. However, with recurring Covid-19 pandemic and the unfolding geo-strategic shockwaves in place, the year 2022 has been tough for almost all the countries. The world economy is heading untoward, and uncertainties are on the rise, making the sustainable development more difficult to attain. China and Pakistan are no exceptions. China registered 2.5 per cent economic growth in the first 6 months. But China’s economic fundamentals remain solid and strong, and our economy is resilient with tremendous potentials, huge consumer market and a variety of policy tools at disposal.

The fourth quarter will see a comeback recovery and vibrant growth of the economy. China in 2022 has indeed a lot to offer to the world and much more to celebrate.  

Next month, the Communist Party of China will convene its 20th National Congress in Beijing. As China embarks on a new journey towards its second centenary goal of building a modern prosperous socialist country in all respects, it is an all important meeting to be held and will mark another milestone in China’s development going forward.

The CPC National Congress will fully review the major achievements made and valuable experience gained in China’s reform and development endeavors, and also formulate programs of action and overarching policies to meet the new expectations of the people for the coming 5 years and beyond. The Chinese people, under the strong leadership of the Communist Party of China with Comrade Xi Jinping at the core, will continue to follow the Chinese path to modernization to realize the Chinese Dream and the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, and contribute the vision and strength to world peace, development and human progress.

No one likes to walk alone in the dark. But “Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light. ”This brilliant Urdu saying applies to our bilateral relations. China and Pakistan are all-weather strategic cooperative partners, and we have been through thick and thin for more than seven decades. Our friendship is deeply rooted in the history, touches upon the hearts of the people and aims at mutual benefit and win-win outcome. The relationship is weathering storms and time tested. We support each other’s core interests, and leaders of our two countries have built up mutual political trust, maintained close exchanges, and strengthened strategic communications. President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif recently had a successful meeting on the sidelines of the SCO Samarkand Summit. From January to August 2022, China’s trade with Pakistan stood at $18.41billion, up 7.28% year on year. Pakistan’s export to China also reached $2.40 billion in the first eight months, up 6.23 percent from the previous year, creating a new record.

The CPEC projects have also been further expedited, entering a fast-track growth and expansion. The Karot Hydro-power plant began generating electricity, and Gwadar port development produced substantive progress with East Bay Expressway operationalized. All the CPEC projects in Punjab are either successfully accomplished or meeting their pronounced targets, yielding early harvests to mutual satisfaction. Since I assumed the CG Office in May, I have come to realize that Pakistan has a cross-spectrum consensus for fostering amicably friendly relations with China.

I appreciate it. And I am of the view that with our continuing concerted efforts, China-Pakistani cooperation will yield more substantive and fruitful outcomes. I firmly believe that the friendship will be passed on from generation to generation.  

Please allow me to take this auspicious occasion to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOTHER CHINA.My best wishes also go to the Pakistani friends who have cared and are taking care of the China-Pak relationship. May China prosperous and the China-Pak friendship vibrant, sustainable and ever growing.

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