Pakistani PM: "Yazhou youyi wansui!"
Peking University, May 19, 2011: Long live Asian friendship - "Yazhou youyi wansui," said Pakistani Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani in Chinese in his Peking University address on May 19.
The visiting prime minister called for more exchanges of students and researchers to further strengthen the bilateral ties.
“Students exchanges, joint research projects, and more multi-disciplined research would be extremely useful to providing fresh ideas and the necessary intellectual content for taking our friendship and partnership to new heights,” Gilani said in the PKU Yingjie Overseas Exchange Center.
At the invitation of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, Gilani pays an official visit to China from May 17 to 20. The two leaders reaffirmed the "all-weather" friendship during a talk on May 18.
"Long live Pakistan-China friendship!" the prime minister hailed to his PKU audience.
Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani (Photo/Wang Wenquan & Sun Linlin)
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (R) meets with visiting Pakistani PM Gilani in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, May 18, 2011. (Xinhua/Zhang Duo)
Prime Minister Gilani said in his address that successive generations of leaders in Pakistan and China have always given their utmost attention to holding high the banner of Pakistan-China friendship.
He said the foundations of this special and unique relationship were laid by the founder of the Pakistan People’s Party, Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, together with Chairman Mao Zedong and Premier Zhou Enlai.
“On this occasion, we pay tribute to the architects of Pakistan-China friendship and to all those who contributed to the flourishing of this beautiful friendship and partnership,” he added.
The prime minister, however, emphasized the importance of ensuring that the shining torch of this most prized relationship is carried on from generation to generation and said “I believe that the scholars, researchers and students of our two countries have a special role to play in this regard.”
Gilani said Pak-China all-weather friendship and strategic cooperative partnership has withstood the vicissitude of time and the changes in the international and regional situation.
“We have stood by each other at all times and under all circumstances,” he added.
The prime minister described Peking University as “one of the oldest and finest in the world” and said Pakistan values the contribution that this university has made towards promoting China-Pakistan friendship.
“Graduates from the Urdu department [Urdu major, Department of South Asian Languages, School of Foreign Languages] of this university are a real asset. I had the privilege of meeting some of those young men and women, who are serving in various capacities in Pakistan and speak Urdu fluently,” he added.
Gilani referred to the Center for Pakistan Studies at Peking University and complimented Professor Tang Mengsheng, Director of the Center for his personal interest and solid contribution to promoting greater contacts and collaboration between Pakistan and China.
Earlier in his welcoming speech, PKU President Zhou Qifeng said the university has always cherished cooperation with international partners. "Peking University will spare no effort to strengthen the cultural and educational ties and communications with Pakistani higher education institutions and we are confident that the visit of His Excellency Prime Minister Gilani will further promote the mutual understanding and friendship between Pakistani and Chinese people," Professor Zhou added.
“My visit to this university is also to express our thanks to all of you for the contribution that you continue to make to strengthen China-Pakistan friendship,” Prime Minister Gilani said and mentioned the celebrations of the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
He said special events are being organized both in Pakistan and China throughout this year, which the two sides have declared as the Friendship Year.
“The friendship theme runs through the discourse in Pakistan-China relations in all domains. From the leadership level to the ordinary people, this is the common theme.
"It is due to the spontaneous affinity, love, and affection that our two peoples have for each other. It is the abiding theme that transcends all constructs that exist to define inter-state relations. In short, it is like being one people and two countries.”
The prime minister expressed his gratitude for the unstinted support and solidarity shown by the people and Government of China towards Pakistan and said during the 2005 earthquake and unprecedented floods last year “our Chinese friends came forward to assist their Pakistani brothers and sisters with true sentiments of solidarity and humanity.”
He was also appreciative of China for extending its full support to Pakistan in its own national efforts to safeguard Pakistan's sovereignty and core national interests.
“For its part, Pakistan has always strongly supported China. We believe in the One-China policy and firmly support China’s principled stand on Tibet and Taiwan. We have also contributed effectively to the fight against the 'Three Evils,' particularly efforts to defeat the ETIM terrorists,” he added.
Gilani said Pakistan and China have robust all-dimensional cooperative relations, adding, “We seek to build further on these cooperative ties to ensure our respective countries stability, peace, and prosperity.”
The prime minister said he would like to encourage the faculty and students of Peking University to give special attention to broadening collaboration with Pakistani universities and academia.
"We need to also give thought to how best we can utilize the valuable research that is taking place in both our countries to be shared for mutual benefit.
“Periodic exchange of professors and scholars as well as students; the study of Chinese and Urdu languages; seminars and workshops; exchange of specialists in various disciplines would certainly contribute to expanding the horizons of our cooperation,” he added.
The prime minister said Peking University is famous for its strength in Humanities and Social Sciences, with its Business School rated as among the best in the world, it would indeed be extremely useful if the Business School could run special projects and programs, with a view to identifying new areas of mutually-beneficial cooperation between China and Pakistan in the fields of economy and trade.
“It would also be extremely useful if studies are commissioned under the PhD programs to not only research the contemporary history but also to rediscover the roots of our civilizational interactions spanning several millenniums. Such research will give deeper meaning and reveal the true essence of the abiding friendship between our two proud and courageous peoples,” he added.
“We should do this with a view to rediscovering our collective rich cultural heritage, which our two countries not only prize but are also determined to enrich further for all times to come,” Gilani stressed.
The prime minister said youth comprise the largest segment of society in China and Pakistan, the story of China’s success in space missions, high speed trains, emerging entrepreneurial class and excellence in sports, is being written by talented Chinese youth.
“Young men and women in Pakistan are inspired by these achievements,” he said noted that some 6,000 Pakistani students are undertaking higher studies in China. “We will continue to encourage this trend.”
The prime minister also appreciated the China Radio International for running excellent programs in its Urdu service and said more and more Urdu speaking graduates at Peking University are choosing to work in Pakistan for Chinese companies and media.
“We deeply appreciate their contribution,” he added.
The prime minister hailed the commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Pakistan and China on PKU campus. “This indeed demonstrates our shared resolve to utilize the talent of young men and women for taking our friendship to ever greater heights.”
Inscription by Pakistani PM Gilani: "Pak-China friendship is higher than mountains, deeper than Ocean, stronger than steel and sweeter than honey. Long live Pak-China friendship. 20th May, 2011." The PM also shared the words with PKU students during his May 19 speech. (Xinhuanet Photo)
Prime Minister Gilani and PKU President Zhou Qifeng
"Is this organized? Anyone can ask," Gilani said to his young audience as he felt the Q&A session was somehow pre-arranged, after answering the first question regarding China-Pakistan friendship from an Urdu-major student - in Urdu.
Then came a question about the killing of The prime minister responded that Pakistan has rendered tremendous sacrifices in the war against terrorism and the world should recognize it.
He said: "Sacrifices given by NATO are much less than our sacrifices and we have lost about 30,000 civilians and 5,000 soldiers besides an equal number who have been disabled."
The prime minister said peace cannot be achieved in Afghanistan without cooperation of Pakistan. Pakistan is part of the solution in Afghanistan and bringing peace, progress, and stability in the world.
Answering questions, Gilani said Pakistan has condemned "drone attacks being carried out on our soil and we consider them as violation of our sovereignty and integrity."
"We have reminded a number of times to the US that these are counter productive and these help terrorists to again associate with the local tribe," he added. "The parliament has also condemned these attacks demanding of the US to stop them."
"We are responsible nation and nuclear power and we know how to protect our sovereignty and integrity," said the prime minister. He expressed gratitude to China for extending its cooperation in the difficult time to Pakistan regarding unilateral US operation by the US in Abbottabad.
At the age of 56, Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani took oath of the office of the Prime Minister of Pakistan on March 25, 2008 as the country’s 22nd Prime Minister.
Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani (File photo)
Born on June 9, 1952 in Karachi, Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani received his early education at St. Mary’s Convent School and La Salle High School, Multan. After completing his higher school he joined Forman Christian College, Lahore from where he completed his intermediate level studies. He graduated from the renowned Government College, Lahore and got his Masters degree in Journalism from the Punjab University.
Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani began his political career in 1978 as member of Central Working Committee of a leading political party PML. He served as Federal Minister for Housing and Works and later for Railways between 1985 and 1986. In 1988 he joined the Pakistan Peoples Party and became a Minister in the federal cabinet with the portfolios of Tourism and later Housing and Works till 1990. He took oath of the office of Minister for Local Government and Rural Development in 1993 during the interim government. He was elected as Speaker of the National Assembly of Pakistan in 1993 and held this responsibility up to 1997.
Qian Xin contributed to report.
Edited by: Jacques