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China-Pakistan Friendship:As pure and sincere as the ever-flowing water

---Remarks by Ambassador Sun Weidong at the Book Launch Ceremony 

of You and Us, Stories of China and Pakistan

Honorable Ahsan Iqbal, Federal Minister for Planning, Reforms and Development

Honorable Inam-ul-Haq, Former Foreign Minister of Pakistan

Honorable Senator Mushahid Hussain, Chairman of Parliamentary Committee on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor

Mr. Muhammad Rana, Director of Pakistan Institute of Peace Studies

Honorable Ambassador Lu Shulin, Ambassador Zhou Gang, Ambassador Zhang Chunxiang, Consul-General An Qiguang

Akram Zaki, Mehmood Khalid, Salman Basir, Hassan Javed,

My dear Pakistani friends,

Good Afternoon!

Welcome to the launch ceremony of the book You and Us, Stories of China and Pakistan. I am very honored to have the authors of the book and so many old friends come together today.

Chinese people say, “the friendship between men of noble characters is as pure as water”. China and Pakistan respect each other and equally treat each other. Water is beneficial for all things, without striving for fame and gain. “The highest ethics is like water”. It is not only the summary of Chinese virtue but also the interpretation of China-Pakistan friendship.

Chinese people also say,“when you drink the water, think of those who dug the well”. The seniors present here today are those who dug the sweet water spring for us. Ambassador Lu Shulin has made painstaking efforts to collect, sort out and edit the stories of China and Pakistan. All the authors involved in writing this book have turned their emotion into the words. All the stories are just like the beautiful splashes of waves in the long river of China-Pakistan friendship.

In 1956, during Premier Zhou Enlai’s first visit to Pakistan, his delegation made the final revision of Premier Zhou’s speech before the reception in Shalimar Garden. At that time, my father worked in the Chinese Embassy. He and the secretary of the delegation wrote “long live the friendship between Chinese and Pakistani Peoples”in phonetic English for Premier. Later, at the end of Premier Zhou’s speech, he paused a moment and then clearly spelled out “Chini Awan Our Pakistani Awan Ki dosti zindabad” and won great applause.

In the same year, to commemorate Premier Zhou’s visit, the former Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Mr. Geng Biao selected some bamboos and planted them in the compound of Chinese Embassy in Karachi. Now, they have grown into a small forest. During the past years, when I visited the old compound, I went to see the bamboos. I feel that as the time goes by, the friendship has been deeply rooted in people’s hearts and grown bigger and stronger like the bamboos forest.

I often recall the stories of Agha Hilaly and Agha Shahi, known as “Pakistan Ambassador brothers”. The two brothers had dedicated their lives to China-Pakistan friendship. Ambassador Hilaly made a historic contribution to ice-breaking of China-U.S. relations. In order to commemorate Premier Zhou Enlai, Ambassador Shahi and some Pakistani friends sent a co-authored letter to President Musharraf, proposing to rename the main road leading to the diplomatic enclave as “Zhou Enlai Avenue”. Now, the Chinese Embassy is still on this Avenue. There are also some senior friends like Pakistani former foreign ministers H. E. Mr. Gohar Ayub Khan and H. E. Mr. Abdul Sattar, former Pakistani Ambassador to China Mr. Akram Zaki and former Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission Mr. Akram Sheikh. I am afraid I cannot mention all their names due to time restrain. Those senior friends have made tremendous contributions to China-Pakistan friendship. As a Chinese proverb goes, “elders are treasures”. These seniors are contributor, pioneer and precious treasure of China-Pakistan friendship.

As another famous Chinese saying goes, the sea can hold the water stemming from numerous rivers and it's huge because of its inclusiveness. If we put the China-Pakistan relationship as the surging Yangtze River and Indus River, the tens of thousands of streams converged into the Rivers are actually the good feelings deeply rooted in the hearts of our two peoples. In Pakistan, as long as people could recognize you as Chinese, they will say “ni hao” and “xie xie” to you while their smiles sincerely to you. Like the streams may flow through rocks and valleys, mountains and forests, and even remote areas, the Pakistani people may have different backgrounds of habitants, cultures and languages, but it is the consensus of all the Pakistani people to support the China-Pakistan friendship. Because of this consensus, the China-Pakistan friendship could eventually transform into a big river which crosses over the forests, plains and enrich all the living creatures.

Hundreds of years ago, a famous Chinese poet in the Song Dynasty said, why is the water so clear in the dyke? That is because there is always fresh water coming from the springhead. Standing on the shoulders of the veterans, the young generations from our two countries are bringing fresh water into the China-Pakistan friendship. With the implementation of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, people-to-people exchanges and the progress of a number of substantive cooperation projects, more and more young people have joined the ranks of participating and supporting China-Pakistan friendship. Right now, there has emerged new vocabulary on China-Pakistan friendship such as “巴铁and iron brothers,” and there is an upsurge among the Pakistani young people to learn Chinese. Indeed, fresh vitality has been brought out of the China-Pakistan friendship.

History is like the tide of water that always rolling forward. The peaceful development, people’s well-being, openness and inclusiveness, win-win cooperation are the irresistible historical trend. China-Pakistan friendship is such great tide in line with the historical trend. We must follow the trend and promote our cooperation with the trend. President Xi Jinping paid a successful visit to Pakistan this year. We upgraded our bilateral relations to all-weather strategic cooperation partnership. I am convinced that with our joint efforts,our friendship of iron brothers will be much stronger, our strategic cooperation will be much more solid and the Community of China-Pakistan Shared Destiny will be realized at an early date.

The year 2015 is designated as the “Year of China-Pakistan Friendly Exchanges” by the leaders of both countries. The publication of the book will be a gift for the Year. It will surely enhance the mutual understanding, mutual trust and friendship between the two peoples, as well as encourage and inspire more people to be engaged in promoting friendship between the two countries. Let’s work together to embrace the promising future of China-Pakistan relationship.

Chin-Pak dosti zindabad!

Thank you!

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