CPEC has strengthened Pak-China ties, says COAS - Chief of the Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa ISLAMABAD: Chief of the Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Monday said that Pakistan and China’s collaboration spans over a wider canvas than ever before and ranges across strategic initiatives like the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), defence collaboration in numerous joint projects and united diplomatic front. The COAS was speaking as the chief guest at a reception held here in connection with the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA).The ceremony was largely attended by high-ranking civil and military officers. Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Sun Weidong and his wife Madam Dina Bao were also present on the occasion. General Bajwa joined the Chinese side in cutting a cake to celebrate the anniversary. He had also a look of pictures, displaced on the occasion, showing the two countries’ high-level exchanges at top-military levels, as well as the growing PLA’s military strength. The ceremony was hosted by Chinese Military, Naval and Air Attaché Major General and Mrs Chen Wenrong who praised high the growing Sino-Pak friendship, particularly at the military-to-military level, reaffirming his country’s commitment to keep up this ever-green partnership, that meets the fundamental interest of their countries. Addressing the ceremony, General Bajwa said that the Pakistan Army and the people of Pakistan take great pride in our deep-rooted brotherly relationship with the People’s Republic of China. This enviable relationship finds no parallel in the world. He said today, both China and Pakistan are faced with similar challenges and opportunities. Both countries have assumed shared responsibility towards stability in the region and prosperity of our people. This unity of purpose has led to the consolidation and has strengthened our resolve as determined nations, to brave all challenges and storms together. “As important strategic players in the region, our relations have jointly benefitted both the countries. It is a relationship based on mutual trust, respect, understanding and cooperation. In fact, this friendship is flourishing with every passing day, which encompasses every aspect of our life,” General Bajwa said. “Today, this close collaboration spans over a wider canvas than ever before and ranges across strategic initiatives like the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, defence collaboration in numerous joint projects and united diplomatic front, internationally,” he said. He said Pakistan is indebted to China for its unflinching support to our perspective at all international forums, may it be expansion of the Nuclear Suppliers Group, Kashmir Issue, or Pakistan’s full membership of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation. China has always provided unconditional support to Pakistan’s efforts for reconciliation in Afghanistan, especially at the platform of Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG), the COAS added. “We are also actively cooperating in all fields in the war on terror. Moreover, from diplomatic cooperation to security collaboration, we have stood by each other through thick and thin and shall continue to stand shoulder to shoulder, come rain or shine,” he said. Army Chief General Bajwa extended his heartiest felicitations to the PLA on the momentous occasion, saying that he was sure that professional collaboration between the PLA and the Pakistan Army will continue to expand to bring peace to the region in general and China, Pakistan in particular. Major General Chen Wenrong in his address further said China and Pakistan are close neighbors connected by mountains and waters. The China-Pakistan relationship is based on the principles of peaceful coexistence, commonality of interests and shared perception of regional and global issues. He said we have always stood by each other through thick and thin, and at every critical juncture of our history. The military relationship between our two armed forces has always served as the pillar to our bilateral relationship. He said construction of the CPEC projects is in full swing. CPEC is bringing us even closer. He said we highly laud the tremendous efforts, contributions as well as the sacrifices made by Pakistan security forces in fighting against terrorism, in maintaining peace and stability of the region and protecting all the Chinese living and working in Pakistan. China and Pakistan are strategic cooperative partners, no matter how the world situation changes, the brotherly friendship between China and Pakistan will remain unchanged, he added.