Interview: Pakistan-China traditional friendship features people-to-people bonds, says Pakistani president
Pakistani President Arif Alvi receives an interview with Chinese media in Islamabad, Pakistan, Feb. 10, 2021. The traditional friendship between Pakistan and China is not only embodied in mutual support and cooperation between the two governments, but also in people-to-people bonds, Pakistani President Arif Alvi said here on Wednesday. (Xinhua/Jiang Chao)
by Li Hao, Jiang Chao
The traditional friendship between Pakistan and China is not only embodied in mutual support and cooperation between the two governments, but also in people-to-people bonds, Pakistani President Arif Alvi said on Wednesday.
"The friendship (between Pakistan and China) is higher than the mountains and deeper than the oceans. And it's long-term. It's deeper. It not only depends on the governments, but also on the people's love for each other," the president said during an interview with Chinese media.
After the outbreak of COVID-19, some Pakistani students in China and their parents felt worried about the epidemic, but their concerns were soon eliminated as the students were taken good care of by the Chinese government, which has demonstrated "one of the best episodes of Pakistan-China friendship," Alvi said.
The Pakistani president said that when he paid a visit to China in March, 2020, "we wanted to give the message to the world that China is a safe country, and we wanted to show the world that China has handled COVID-19 very well."
Alvi extended his gratitude to China for first providing COVID-19 vaccine aid to Pakistan, adding that the donated vaccines are of great importance to his country and Pakistan has already started to administer Chinese vaccines to frontline healthcare workers.
"We are very impressed by the fact that it (the Chinese vaccine) is effective and there is a matter of reassurance (for the frontline healthcare workers)," the president said.
Noting that China also sent medical experts to join Pakistan's efforts to battle COVID-19 last year, he said Pakistan has learnt a lot from the Chinese medical experts on how to handle COVID-19, which has greatly helped the country's anti-epidemic efforts.
This year marks the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between Pakistan and China, Alvi said, adding that both the countries believe that the international relations should be based on principles including mutual respect and non-interference in each other's affairs.
Pakistan and China think alike on many international affairs, cooperate closely in different international organizations and firmly support each other on issues concerning the core interests of the two countries, he noted.
"I am very hopeful for the future of bilateral ties," said the president, adding that "the world has to go towards free trade, the world has to go towards non-hegemonistic intentions, and the world has to go towards peace and peace is built on foundations."
"The world can learn from Pakistan and China's friendship," he said.
Talking about the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), Alvi said that CPEC projects have greatly improved Pakistan's infrastructure and energy supply, adding that CPEC, which is currently focusing on industrial, agricultural, socio-economic and poverty alleviation cooperation, will bring a large number of job opportunities to the Pakistani people.
The Pakistani president also extended his congratulations to the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China (CPC). He said the CPC has shown great leadership in leading the Chinese people to fight against COVID-19, making unbelievable achievements in poverty alleviation and providing health, which are the "foundations through which Chinese economy has prospered tremendously."
Whether or not a political party can keep vitality forever depends on "the relationship of the party with the real issues and then the interaction with the people," he said, adding that the CPC understands what the Chinese people want and guides the Chinese people towards a better future.
"We are following the Chinese poverty alleviation model while strengthening the education and healthcare system along with the job creation and industrial growth," Alvi said.