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Online Conference Marks 69th Anniversary of Pakistan-China Relations
To mark the 69th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Pakistan and China, the Centre for Chinese Legal Studies at the Shaikh Ahmad Hassan School of Law, LUMS, in collaboration with the Pakistan-China Institute, Islamabad, hosted an online conference, ‘Pakistan-China Relations in the New Era: COVID-19, CPEC, and Beyond’.
The online session was co-moderated by Sikander Ahmed Shah, Associate Professor at the Shaikh Ahmad Hassan School of Law, LUMS and Director of the Centre for Chinese Legal Studies (CCLS), along with Mustafa Hyder Sayed, Executive Director, Pakistan-China Institute. Eminent panelists included H. E. Amb. Yao Jing, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Pakistan; H. E. Amb. Naghmana Hashmi, Ambassador of Pakistan to the People’s Republic of China; Senator Mushahid Hussain, Chairman, Foreign Affairs Committee, Senate of Pakistan and Chairman, Pakistan-China Institute; and Dr. Zhao Baige, Vice Chair, 12th National People’s Congress Foreign Affairs Committee, People’s Republic of China.
Prof. Shah explained the importance of the conference, “The conversation will explore the dynamic avenues of cooperation between the two countries in an attempt to understand how Pakistan may learn from and employ China’s best practices and what role the governments will play in taking CPEC forward.”
Apart from exploring further avenues of collaboration between the two countries, Prof. Shah also said that the conference would help understand how China has successfully tackled the spread of the novel coronavirus pandemic within its own borders, and draw lessons from their regulatory and containment strategies.
Mr. Sayed spoke about how the platform brings together intellectuals, universities, students, and political parties to give way to a meaningful dialogue between the two countries with regards to bilateral, regional and international relationships and shared goals.
H. E. Amb. Yao Jing, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Pakistan, said, “We look back at these 69 years and how the two nations have established brotherly relations. This is a demonstration of the prosperity and stability of the two countries.”
He also shared the necessary building blocks for a successful future. He said that both countries must stick to the principle of mutual respect and mutual support between the government and the people. “We must also uphold international and regional justice as peace, stability, and economic cooperation are core values to becoming partners.”
With regards to the novel coronavirus crisis, he extended support to Pakistan. “The Pakistani government and its people will soon overcome the coronavirus and China will always be there to provide support and will remain a dependable partner.”
H. E. Amb. Naghmana Hashmi, Ambassador of Pakistan to the People’s Republic of China, welcomed the youth from Pakistan and China who took part in the conference. “This event marks the 69th anniversary of the establishment of the diplomatic relations between Pakistan and China. But this road to friendship goes way beyond, and is deeply rooted in the ethos and the hearts of the people in both countries.”
She elaborated that both countries have always been each other’s biggest supporters. “During difficult times, we have always supported each other and history is testament to that. During the COVID-19 pandemic too, China has been Pakistan’s greatest supporter. This relationship will further be strengthened based on mutual trust and understanding.”
Senator Mushahid Hussain, Chairman, Foreign Affairs Committee, Senate of Pakistan and Chairman, Pakistan-China Institute, also spoke about the unique friendship between the two countries. He thanked the Chinese government for mobilising support to Pakistan whenever the need arose, and in particular during the ongoing pandemic.
With regards to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), Senator Hussain said that there is consensus among all political parties in Pakistan that CPEC is a project necessary for the progress and success of both countries, and the region. He also discouraged the politicising of the pandemic and said that geopolitical rivalries on the basis of fear and hatred are not the need of the hour. “An inclusive approach is needed against a global crisis,” he emphasised.
Dr. Zhao Baige, Vice Chair, 12th National People’s Congress Foreign Affairs Committee, People’s Republic of China spoke about the new globalisation that is now a reality with the pandemic. The future direction for the young generation of both countries and the world has changed, she said. To be better equipped, the youth need to work towards good governance and improving political systems for the international order. “The new future should be inclusive, with value given to solidarity and harmony without uniformity,” she stressed.
Mr. Uzair Kayani. Assistant Professor at the Shaikh Ahmad Hassan School of Law, LUMS gave the closing remarks. He recalled the powerful global institutions spawned in previous crises such as WWII and the Great Depression, and urged the need to take advantage of the transformative opportunities of COVID-19.