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Introduction: A Lecture with the title “The Evolution of Pakistan-China Diplomatic Relations in 70 years” was delivered online by Hassan Daud Butt (CEO, KP-BOIT) on April 16, 2021. The event was organized by the China Study Center, University of Peshawar. Prof Dr Zahid Anwar, Director, China Study Center, University of Peshawar welcomed the distinguished Speaker, research scholars and other honourable guests.  

About the speaker: Hassan Duad Butt, served as a Diplomat in Embassy of Pakistan, Beijing, China (2009-2013) and Hanoi, Vietnam. He is a recipient of Chinese Commemorative Medal by Chinese Ministry of Defense for improving Pak China relations, letter of Commendation as member of the team for preparing Long Term Plan of CPEC. He remained a Project Director China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Projects, (Oct 2016 – Sep 2019). He was the Committee member for articulating CPEC Long Term Plan and Gwadar Smart Port City Master Plan. He is currently serving as a CEO of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Board of Investment & Trade (KP-BOIT) is also the Focal Person for Ease of Doing Business (EoDB) initiative of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Government and is Chairman of Committee for formulating Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Industrial Policy and New Merged Districts Incentive Policy.  He has authored many research papers and is a Member of the Advisory Board of SASSI University’s Center for Asia Pacific and Security Studies (CAPSS), China Pak Study Centre (CPSC) Advisory Board at Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI). He has oftentimes contributed as an expert to the China related academic activities of the China Study Center, University of Peshawar.

Lecture: The online lecture began with the recitation of the holy Quran. In his lecture Hassan Daud Butt appreciated China Study Center, University of Peshawar for its efforts to strengthening Pakistan and China Relations and stated that Pakistan and China’s Relations are based on mutual trust and no other countries have experienced a better bilateral relationship than that existing between China and Pakistan. Since 1951 when the bilateral and diplomatic relations were established, there was no turning back. Starting from the visit of Vice President of China Madam Song Ching Ling to Pakistan marked the first high-level visit from the Chinese side. He talked about the visits of President XI Jinping to Pakistan, the visit of Prime Minister of Pakistan Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy and Prime Minister Imran Khan and more recently during pandemic the visit of the President of Pakistan to China. All the leaders and stakeholders from China and Pakistan have contributed towards the development of this brotherhood which is reached a new height and has been termed as sweeter than honey and higher than mountains and this is only because of mutual trust and commitment of taking this friendship forward. he added,

He stated that the current generation is contributing and strengthening this relationship and the next generation should also understand the vitality of these relations and should actively contribute towards this relationship. Pakistan has always played an active role in bringing China and the West closer. He was of the view that besides our leaders, Ambassadors of the two countries have played a vital role in bringing Pakistan and China closer. And despite diversity of societies and cultures Pakistan still considers China as a closest friend & partner and China considered Pakistan as an iron brother and maintaining a close relationship with China is a central part of foreign policy.

Today for Pakistan, the CPEC initiative is forming its economic model through cooperation in infrastructure development, energy, science and technology, agriculture, and more importantly social-economic development. Today the world is witnessing pandemic and economic challenges and Pakistan and China contributing and supporting each other in combating the pandemic. Pakistan on the other hand through joint efforts is learning from China’s development and poverty alleviation.  

Conclusion: The speech was followed by question & answer session and the honourable speaker answered different questions related to the diplomatic relations between the two countries. In the end, Prof. Dr. Zahid Anwar, Director China Study Center, University of Peshawar thanked Mr. Hassan Daud Butt for his time and for highlighting different aspects of the Pakistan and China relationship and the audience participating in the online lecture in such a large number.

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