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Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo Addresses the Ceremony Marking the 60th Anniversary of China-Pakistan Diplomatic Relations and the Close of China-Pakistan Friendship Year

On December 23, 2011, Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo, who is on an official visit in Pakistan as a representative of the Chinese President Hu Jintao, attended and addressed a ceremony held at the Pakistani Prime Minister's House in Islamabad to mark the 60th anniversary of China-Pakistan diplomatic relations and the close of China-Pakistan Friendship Year. The ceremony was attended by Pakistani Prime Minister Gilani, Speaker of the National Assembly Mirza and other Pakistani party, government, military officials as well as the people from media circle.

In his speech, the Chinese State Councilor first conveyed to the brotherly Pakistani people the warm greetings and good wishes on behalf of Chinese President Hu Jintao, the Chinese government and the Chinese people, and extended heart-felt thanks and lofty salutes to the people from all walks of life in Pakistan, who have made enduring efforts in promoting the friendship between the two countries.

He said that since the establishment of the China-Pakistan diplomatic relations the bilateral relations between the two countries have undergone repeated tests, the political ties of the two sides have increasingly been cemented, the all-around cooperation has drawn interests of both sides even closer, and China and Pakistan have forged a strategic partnership that has produced fruitful results. The two countries have treated each other with mutual respect and as equals, and the two sides can always count on each other for sincere and selfless support and assistance, he said. The bilateral trade has grown from a modest 10 million U.S. dollars in the early days of diplomatic relations to almost 10 billion U.S. dollars currently, he said, adding that the mega projects set up in Pakistan such as the Karakorum Highway, Gwadar Port, Jinnah Sports Complex and Pakistan-China Friendship Center bear testimony to the lasting China-Pakistan friendship.

Dai said that over the past 60 years, the Chinese and Pakistani people have established an all-weather and brotherly relationship and the people of the two countries have stood alongside each other, in both good and bad times. "It is believed that happiness, when shared by two, will be doubles, suffering, when shared by two, will be halved," he said, adding that in the minds of the Chinese people Pakistan is always an "Iron-Core" friend of China.

Dai stated that China and Pakistan have always adhered to the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, and firmly supported each other's efforts to uphold independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity. He said successive generations of Chinese and Pakistani leaders have always made China-Pakistan relationship a top priority in both countries' external relations and the people of both countries have always been committed to and supportive of the China-Pakistan friendship. Both countries have pursued effective and practical cooperation and conducted close coordination and cooperation in international and regional affairs, he said. Currently the world is undergoing profound and complex changes and it is more imperative for China and Pakistan to strengthen the strategic coordination and cooperation, Dai stressed. The Chinese State Councilor concluded his speech by calling for mutual support on issues concerning each other's interests of great significance, deepening the practical cooperation between the two sides, expanding the cooperation in key sectors like energy, infrastructure and agriculture, increasing people-to-people and cultural exchanges, consolidating the solid foundation for the friendship between the two peoples, and working together to face the challenges and strive for a harmonious and sustainable development of the world.

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