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Saturday, May 21, 2011

60th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations Between Pakistan & China

60Th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations Between Pakistan & China. Commemorative Postage Stamps May 21, 2011:- Pakistan is one of the first groups of countries that recognized the People’s Republic of China. The diplomatic relations between the two countries were established in January 1950 when Pakistan recognized China. However, the two countries formally established diplomatic relations on 21 May, 1951. Since then, China and Pakistan witnessed smooth development of friendly and neighborly relations as well as mutually beneficial cooperation.

Pakistan and China enjoy a multifaceted and multidimensional long term strategic partnership, based on mutual respect and mutual trust. Strengthening of cooperation which China is one of the key principles guiding Pakistan’s foreign policy. Pakistan considers China to be a factor of stability in the region and beyond and together we would continue our common endeavors for building a better future for our people, and promoting international peace, stability and prosperity.

Pakistan and China have declared 2011 as the “Year of Friendship”. The year also marks the 60th Anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations. Both countries will celebrate the Friendship Year at the leadership, government, business and most important people to people level. An Action Plan for celebrating the occasion approved by the two sides is being implemented.

Political Relations:- Pakistan – China relations are close, time tested and largely unaffected by radical changes in the global political environment. The two countries have convergence of political interests, especially for preservation of peace and stability in the region. Political fundamentals of the relations remain sound and are reflected in the frequent high – level exchanges, bilateral cooperation and understanding and support for each other’s positions at international for a.

Pakistan and China friendship spans over half a century and is imbued by a high degree of trust and commonality of interests. It has matured into a comprehensive strategic partnership, which is of great importance for Pakistan’s security and economic development. The tradition of close consultation and coordination enables the two multilateral fora is proceeding satisfactorily.

Pakistan’s relations with China have been defined by a number of clichés. The fundamentals that any good bilateral relation should have are undoubtedly there. The over 200 Agreements / MoUs signed between the two countries provide a solid institutional framework for further development of this all important strategic partnership.

Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto: Architect of Pakistan – China Relations:- The foundations of strong friendship with China were laid by the visionary policies of Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. He foresaw the opportunity to initiate friendly relations with China by signing Pakistan – China Border Agreement in 1963, following by the multifaceted and multi-dimensional relationship in the years to come. During the bold step of being the first non-socialist country to sign an Air Services Agreement with
China in August 1963 to link China with other countries by starting a regular air service from 29 April 1964. This gesture by Pakistan was and still is greatly appreciated by the Chinese leadership.

Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto maintained the tradition of a special relationship with China laid down by her illustrious father.

President Asif Ali Zardari carried forward the tradition of special relationship with China. The President has visited China six times since the assumption of his office.

Chinese Premier’s Visit To Pakistan:- The recent visit of the Chinese premier to Pakistan was landmark in the history of Pak – China relations. The two governments signed twelve MOUs / Agreements to expand cooperation in various fields including finance, energy, transport and culture. In addition to these agreements, the businessmen from the two countries also signed several MOUs to strengthen economic relations. The two countries also agreed to further strengthen cooperation in infrastructure development, energy and agriculture on priority basis.

Economic Relations:- Pakistan attaches great importance to its economic relations with China. A comprehensive framework exists between Pakistan and China for economic cooperation which has been translated further into programmes and activities. Project cooperation is covered by the Joint Five – Year Economic Plan (FYDP) for cooperation and trade by the FTA. Pakistan is the first developing country to sign FTA with China. The 2nd meeting of the ECG was held in Islamabad in 2010. The two sides agreed to include all 36 projects in the FYDP (2012 – 2016). The 14th session of Joint Economic Commission (JEC) was held in Islamabad in December; 2010. China has been supporting Pakistan in economic development. China’s Assistance for Floods victims in 2010 sums up to approximately US $ 250 million.

Trade and Investment:- Bilateral trade between China and Pakistan from January to August 2010 was almost US $ 5.5 billion. The total exports from Pakistan to China have been US $ 4.503 billion. In 2009 bilateral trade touched the figure of US $ 7 billion.

A target of US $ 15 billion has been set to be achieved by 2015. The main items which constitute major exports to China are cotton yarn and cloth, chromium ores, raw hides and skin, organic chemicals, plastic articles and fisheries etc. Main import items from China include electrical machinery, boilers, man-made filaments, iron and steel, iron ores and mineral fuels etc.

Projects:- Over the years has assisted Pakistan in several important development projects. Most notable among them are: upgradation of Karakoram Highway; Pakistan Aeronautical Comples, Kamra; Saindak Metal (Copper / Gold) Project; Daddar lead and zinc; Heavy Mechanical Complex; Heavy Electrical Complex; Heavy Foundry & Forge; Heavy Rebuild Factory, Chashma Nuclear Power Plants, Gwadar Port, Mangla Dam raising, Neelum – Jhelum and other hydro-power projects. Total of the above initiatives calculates to over US $ 4.3 billions.

Cultural Relations:- A comprehensive agreement on cooperation in the field of Culture was signed in March 1965. The Executive programme under this Agreement is renewed every three years. Pakistan and China have been exchanging 100 – member youth delegations since 2005.

Four Study Centers on Pakistan are working in China. These centers are located in Peking University Beijing, Sichuan University Chengdu, Tsinghua University Beijing and (ISSI), has also been established in Islamabad.

China has recently handed over Pakistan – China Friendship centre to Pakistan. The two countries have also signed an MoU on reciprocal establishment of culture centers in Islamabad and Beijing.

On the occasion of 60th Anniversary of diplomatic relations between Pakistan and China, Pakistan Post is issuing two Commemorative Postage Stamps of Rs. 8/- each denomination on May 21, 2011.