ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that Pakistan and China were “iron brothers”, emphasising that Pakistan supported China’s efforts to safeguard world peace, contribute to global development and preserve international order.
Addressing the Communist Party of China (CPC) and World Political Parties Summit on Tuesday, he said President Xi Jinping’s vision of shared prosperity through the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) had made a “major impact on global sustainable development” and “proved his credentials as a world statesman”.
The prime minister noted that under Xi’s leadership, China had achieved “major success” in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. “President Xi’s declaration of making the Covid-19 vaccine a global public good is reflective of his compassion and fairness,” he added.
He credited the Chinese president’s “visionary leadership” for China’s transformation. “Xi’s people-centric philosophy has made a critical difference as recently China has eliminated extreme poverty — one of the greatest achievements in the history of mankind,” he added.
He also praised the CPC, saying the party “united the spirit of the Chinese people and encouraged them to wage an epic struggle for liberation from foreign occupation”. The party’s leader, Communist China’s founding father Mao Zedong, had guided the Chinese people in reclaiming national dignity and self-pride, self-respect and China’s rightful place in the world, the premier said.
“For decades, CPC’s spirit instilled new vigour and hope beyond China’s borders. It inspired people of the colonised nations and contributed to the end of colonialism.
“CPC’s astonishing success rests in the people-centric approach of its development philosophy. It remained committed to serving the people and prioritised their well-being,” he noted.
Prime Minister Imran said that Pakistan hoped to emulate the CPC’s “remarkable” achievements of all-round national development, poverty alleviation, anti-corruption campaign and nation-building.
He said that the CPC’s achievements have opened new vistas of thought for political parties across the world, proving that they would only have public support and legitimacy if they continued to serve the people of their country selflessly.
Parties’ missions ‘reflective of people’s aspirations’
“CPC’s mission of the great rejuvenation of Chinese nation and PTI’s vision of Naya Pakistan reflect the respective aspirations of the people of the two countries,” he told the summit.
Talking about his party, the premier said the PTI remained committed to its founding principles — establishing rule of law and setting up a society that is humane and compassionate.
He also spoke about the PTI government’s initiatives such as the Ehsaas programme which he said was “one of the leading social protection programmes in Asia”. He stressed that the government had made the provision of universal health coverage a priority while the Ten Billion Tree Tsunami project reflected its “commitment to countering environmental degradation and reversing the biodiversity loss”.
“We are ready to do more than our share to protect this invaluable planet and help it heal from centuries of neglect,” he said.
He pointed out that Pakistan had shifted its priorities from geopolitics to geo-economics and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) complemented that effort. Turning CPEC — the BRI’s flagship project — into “green CPEC” was a priority for Pakistan, he said.
“Our friendship with China and CPEC complement [the] vision of peace for our citizens and for others and shared prosperity and common development for our region and the world.
“In an era of complex and profound changes at global and regional level, our all-weather strategic-cooperative partnership remains a strong anchor for peace, progress and prosperity,” Prime Minister Imran stressed.
He noted that the people of Pakistan and China were celebrating in a “befitting manner” the 70th anniversary of the start of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
“I am confident that the year 2021 would provide new vigour and vitality to our time-tested friendship,” he concluded.