The Pakistani Embassy in Beijing celebrated the country's national day on March 23 with a festive gala. Masood Khan, Pakistan's Ambassador to China, highlighted Pakistan-China relations during his opening remarks.
"This year is a special year, for it is the 60th anniversary of the establishment of Pakistan-China diplomatic ties and also the year of Pakistan-China friendship," Khan said in fluent Chinese.
"Pakistan and China are the best friends in the world. Our relationship will remain fresh forever. We are good neighbors, close friends and trusted partners," he said. "China and Pakistan are all-weathered strategic partners and good brothers sharing weal and woe. Long live the Pakistan-China friendship!"
Khan also gave a positive review of the efforts Pakistan has made in pursuing its goals of improving economic development and security in the region.
He also expressed gratitude to the Chinese Government and its people for the "timely, substantial and unconditional" help given to Pakistan during the tragic floods that wracked the nation last year.
"This year will take Pakistan-China relations to new heights in the areas of economic cooperation and people-to-people contacts," he noted.
Several prominent Chinese citizens were given awards at the celebration. Cai Bingkui, former defense attache to Pakistan, Professor Qin Dahe, former head of the China Meteorological Administration, Wang Xiaoping, chief executive officer of the China Harbor Engineering Co., Ltd. in Pakistan and Duan Xiufeng, caretaker at the Pakistani Embassy in Beijing, were respectively awarded the "Hilal-e-Pakistan", "Hilal-e-Quaid-e-Azam", "Sitara-e-Imtiaz" and "Tamgha-e-Khidmat" awards in recognition for the work they've done to strengthen relations between Pakistan and China.