Pakistan and Shandong: Partners for common prosperity

(chinadaily.com.cn)| Updated : 2020-07-21

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Pakistan and China are all-weather strategic partners, said Naghmana Alamgir Hashmi, former ambassador of Pakistan to China in a signed article.

The two peoples firmly believe that the Pakistan-China friendship will stand the test of time and overcome international difficulties, said the former ambassador.

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Naghmana Alamgir Hashmi, former ambassador of Pakistan to China [Photo/dzwww.com]

Hashmi concluded her 38-year career and retired on July 19, before her ambassadorial assignment in Beijing for one year.

"In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, the two countries have stood together in weal and woe, which gives us greater confidence in our relations," she said.

After the epidemic broke out in China, Pakistan immediately expressed its solidarity with China by sending coronavirus-related donations and assistance to China in the early stages of the epidemic.

"Pakistani President Arif Alvi's visit to Beijing in March was an expression of tremendous solidarity with the Chinese people and further cemented our ties," she said.

The friendship between the two countries is not only reflected in the close high-level exchanges, but also deeply rooted in the hearts of the two peoples.

According to Hashmi, thousands of Chinese experts are working in Pakistan to promote the construction of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and build it into a flagship project under the Belt and Road Initiative.

On the other hand, tens of thousands of Pakistani students are studying in Chinese universities. There have been frequent exchanges between entrepreneurs, artists, scholars, media and professionals from the two countries.

Despite the global impact of the COVID-19 epidemic, regular exchanges between Pakistan and China have not been thwarted. The two countries have made full use of technology and conducted online exchanges. The two countries have established nearly 20 pairs of sister provinces and cities.

Shandong, an important cradle of Chinese culture, boasts numerous ports and highly developed industries. Shandong people are full of entrepreneurial spirit, and strong cooperation has been carried out between Pakistan and Shandong, Hashmi said.

Cooperation between Pakistan and Shandong has a long history. Huaneng Shandong was among the first companies to invest in the CPEC. Rizhao Port in Shandong was also involved in another CPEC project. Sinotruk, a Shandong-based maker of heavy trucks, has established its first overseas training center in Pakistan.

The Pakistan Haier-Ruba Economic Zone is China's first overseas economic and trade cooperation zone to be approved by the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, and it is also a Pakistan-China Special Economic Zone approved by the Pakistani government. It was jointly founded by Haier Group, a household appliance giant based in Shandong, and the Ruba company of Pakistan.

Hashmi said that with the development of the CPEC and the Pakistan Haier-Ruba Economic Zone, Pakistan and Shandong will further cement economic and trade ties and take concrete steps to promote cultural and people-to-people exchange.