The Chinese embassy held a reception in Islamabad Sunday to celebrate the 55th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the People's Republic of China.
Pakistani Senate Chairman Mohammad Mian Soomro and Foreign Minister Khurshid Kasuri were among more than 600 guests present at the reception hosted by Ambassador Zhang Chunxiang.
In his opening speech, Zhang touted the China-Pak relations as an "all-weather friendship," which has withstood the test of various changes and is featured by mutual understanding, trust and support.
"Thanks to the efforts of governments in decades and leaders of generations in our two countries, the Sino-Pak good-neighborly and friendly relations have continued to grow stronger and achieved fruitful results from our mutually-beneficial cooperation," he said.
Over the past 55 years, he said, trade volume between the two countries has been growing, reaching up to a new record high of more than US$4.2 billion last year. The two countries have expanded economic and trade cooperation in fields such as industry, energy, hydroelectricity, nuclear power, telecommunications, and various infrastructure projects.
In his speech, Kasuri said that the Pak-China relations were time-tested and Pakistan and China had set a good example of friendly co-existence for countries with different social systems.
Earlier on Sunday, the ruling Pakistan Muslim League (PML) held a reception at its headquarters to celebrate the 55th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Pakistan and China. PML Chairman Chaudhry Shujat Hussain said that it was "a special occasion not just for the people of Pakistan and China but also for the entire region since our friendship is a plus for peace, cooperation and stability."
"Let me admit Pak-China friendship is unique and most trustworthy as proved in the history," he said. "I will particularly like to mention one point that in this friendship, China has played a major role. The sacrifices of Chinese on the Karakuram Highways are marked with respect."
(Xinhua News Agency May 22, 2006)