Building a China-Pakistan Community of Shared Destiny to Pursue Closer Win-Win Cooperation
– Speech at the Parliament of Pakistan
H.E. Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China
Islamabad, 21 April 2015
Your Excellency Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif,
Your Excellency Senate Chairman Mr. Raza Rabbani,
Your Excellency Speaker of the National Assembly Mr. Sardar Ayaz Sadiq,
Members of Parliament,
Ladies and Gentlemen, Friends,
I am very pleased to come to the Parliament of Pakistan today to address you, members of the Parliament of Pakistan. The Parliament of Pakistan’s invitation to me to address you today fully testifies to the profound friendship you cherish towards the Chinese people. Thank you very much for your kind invitation.
First of all, I wish to convey, on behalf of the 1.3 billion and more Chinese people, our warmest greetings and best wishes to the brotherly people of Pakistan. I also take this opportunity to pay deep respect to all the Pakistani friends in various fields of endeavor who have over the years worked to promote friendship and cooperation between Pakistan and China.
Pakistan is the first foreign country I visit this year. Although this is my first visit to your country, Pakistan is not at all unfamiliar to me. As an old Chinese saying goes, “Meeting a good friend for the first time is like having a reunion with an old friend.” This is exactly how I feel during my visit to Pakistan. When I was young, I heard a lot from the elder generation about life and scenery in Pakistan and the moving stories of friendship between China and Pakistan. So I have long been fascinated by Pakistan. The moment we arrived in your beautiful country, my colleagues and I have been overwhelmed by your warm hospitality. It is just like coming to the home of dear brothers.
Friendship between China and Pakistan is based on trust and mutual support, and we have been devoted friends through both good and hard times. Our friendship is a pacesetter for amicable relations between countries. The Pakistani people say that China-Pakistan friendship is higher than the mountain, deeper than the sea and sweeter than honey. And we Chinese fondly refer to the Pakistani people as our good friends, good neighbors, good partners, and good brothers.
During my current visit, President Hussain, Prime Minister Sharif and I agreed to elevate China-Pakistan relations to an all-weather strategic cooperative partnership. By all-weather, we mean that our two countries will always move ahead together rain or shine. This description of China-Pakistan partnership is a most appropriate one, as it aptly defines the all-weather friendship and all-round cooperation between China and Pakistan.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Friends,
Pakistan is a great country, both ancient and young. It is home to a splendid ancient civilization. In modern times, Pakistan fought unremittingly to win independence and pursue national development. The Pakistanis are a kind, brave, dignified and confident people with an indomitable national character. Over the past 60 years and more since the founding of the country, the Pakistani government and people have, in the face of intricate domestic and international developments, risen up to various challenges and made remarkable achievements in upholding sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity as well as in national and economic development. In the new century, Pakistan has stood at the frontline of international fight against terrorism. It has made tremendous efforts, endured enormous sacrifice, and made outstanding contribution to upholding peace and stability of our region and the world. We in China have great admiration for the people of Pakistan.
The founding father of Pakistan Muhammad Ali Jinnah said that “We are not afraid of the deep sea or the fire, because we believe in the sun and the future.” The future is something that you either expect or shape. Today, Pakistan has a historic development opportunity. Prime Minister Sharif has crafted the vision of the “Asian Tiger Dream”, outlining a great blueprint for Pakistan. The Chinese people are confident that the Pakistani people, united as one in making unremitting efforts, will surely make even greater progress in pursuing national development. The Chinese people will always stand together with the Pakistani people in your great endeavor.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Friends,
Over 2,000 years ago, the Silk Road became a bridge of friendship linking our two ancient civilizations. Zhang Qian, China’s emissary in the Han Dynasty, Faxian, the master monk in the Eastern Jin Dynasty, and Xuan Zang, the great monk in the Tang Dynasty visited Pakistan. Our two countries share similar cultural traditions and values. The Pakistanis believe that good faith is more precious than wealth. And we Chinese believe that a person cannot do without credibility. In recent history, both China and Pakistan suffered from imperialist and colonialist aggression and oppression and we extended mutual sympathy and support to each other. Back in the 1930s, the great Pakistani poet Muhammad Iqbal wrote that the Chinese people are waking up from their sleep and the spring of Mount Himalaya is bursting. Those lines saluted and voiced support to the Chinese people in their struggle for independence and fight against foreign aggression. Similar historical sufferings and the common struggle have brought our hearts and minds together.
Since the establishment of diplomatic ties, thanks to the commitment of successive Chinese and Pakistani leaders and the concerted efforts of our two peoples, our two countries have forged an all-weather friendship and pursued all-round cooperation. Despite changes in the domestic and international environment, we have always extended sympathy to and supported each other on issues crucial to our respective core interests. Such friendship is truly unique.
As a Chinese saying goes, “Strong wind reveals the strength of grass, and genuine gold stands the test of fire.” We will never forget that Pakistan was one of the first countries to recognize New China and the first Islamic country to enter into diplomatic relations with China. At the critical times when New China endeavored to break the blockade, resume its lawful seat at the United Nations and explore ways to carry out reform and opening-up, Pakistan always came forward with selfless and valuable assistance. When China was hit by natural disasters or faced difficulties, Pakistan always extended a helping hand. In 2008, when the devastating earthquake struck Wenchuan, China, Pakistan responded immediately and sent all its transport aircraft to ship its entire reserve of tents to China. The Pakistani medical team on the transport plane had to remove all seats to make room for the tents and sat on the floor all the way to China. Today, thousands of Pakistanis are working side by side with Chinese engineers and workers on projects undertaken by China in Pakistan, and there are many moving stories about their cooperation.