Xinhua Silk Road - Belt and Road Portal, China's silk road economic belt and 21st Century Maritime Silk Road Website Xinhua Silk Road - Belt and Road Portal, China's silk road economic belt and 21st Century Maritime Silk Road Website
Subscribe CustomBlackClose

Belt & Road Weekly Subscription Form


Research ReportCustomBlackClose

The full edition of the report is available at Xinhua Silk Road Database. You can click the “Table of Content” to have a general understanding of it.

Click on the button below to create your account and get immediate access to thousands of articles.

Start a Free Trial

Xinhua Silk Road Database
International Relation

China-Pakistan Economic Corridor entering Phase Two -- Interview with H.E. Moin ul Haque, Ambassador of Pakistan to China

April 12, 2022

Abstract : Mr. Moin ul Haque, Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan to the People's Republic of China received an interview with Sun Chao. In the interview, Mr. Ambassador shared his views on many important topics, including China's Belt and Road Initiative.

The 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations celebrated in 2021 marked an important milestone in the diplomatic history of China and Pakistan. There are more than 140 celebratory activities organized by the two countries, and the celebrations had reinvigorated the friendship between the peoples of Pakistan and China with indelible impressions to inspire future generations.

Mr. Moin ul Haque, Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan to the People's Republic of China received an interview with Sun Chao. In the interview, Mr. Ambassador shared his views on many important topics, including China's Belt and Road Initiative.

Ambassador said, China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is an important and a high-quality demonstration project under Belt and Road Initiative. In accordance with the statistics, China has become Pakistan's largest trading partner for 6 consecutive years and has maintained the role of Pakistan's largest source of investment for 7 consecutive years. Meanwhile, CPEC has created 75,000 jobs in Pakistan.

Since the outbreak of the COVID-19, Pakistan has been the first country that China has provided vaccine assistance to. And the two countries have maintained a close partnership in the fight against the epidemic.

He said that the bilateral cooperation enjoyed broad scopes and bright prospects. He was confident that "The two countries are friends forever".

The Culmination of the Career

Sun Chao: Mr. Ambassador, is this the first time you work and live in Beijing, China? How do you see China and Chinese people?

Ambassador Moin ul Haque: Yes, this is my first assignment in China. It was indeed a great honor for me to be appointed as the Ambassador of Pakistan to China, a country that is our great friend and with whom we have an 'All-Weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership'. Our two countries sincerely call each other 'Iron brothers'. It is also a special privilege to be here at the culmination of my career and contribute to further strengthening the cordial and multi-faceted relationship between our two countries.

However, being a career diplomat from Pakistan, China was not a terrain unknown to me. Relationship with China is a cornerstone of Pakistan's foreign policy and I had been actively engaging with my Chinese counterparts during my various diplomatic assignments abroad and during my assignments at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Islamabad as well.

Before coming here as the Ambassador of Pakistan, I visited China twice in my capacity as Chief of Protocol, accompanying President and Prime Minister of Pakistan. I visited the cities of Beijing and Shanghai, and Hainan for Boao Forum.

During my tenure as the Ambassador of Pakistan, I have had the chance to travel extensively inside China. I have been to over 20 cities, including Wuhan, Qingdao, Chengdu, Fuzhou, Urumqi, Kashgar, Changsha, Zhengzhou, Nanning and Kunming among others. I have also been to Macao for a conference. I hope to travel further and to explore as many provinces and regions as I can to experience and to enjoy their history, landscape and cultural diversity.

Sun Chao: Mr. Ambassador, where is your hometown? What is the life difference between Beijing and your hometown?

Ambassador Moin ul Haque: I have many hometowns. I was born in the city of Rawalpindi, a twin city of Islamabad. I grew up and received my education in Quetta, the capital of Balochistan province. Whenever I am in Pakistan in between my foreign postings, I have to be in Islamabad as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is based there. So now, I also consider Islamabad as my hometown.

Talking specifically about the comparison of Beijing and Islamabad, both are very beautiful cities in their own ways. Beijing is gigantic and very developed boasting a population of more than 20 million people. It is a mixture of the old and the new, with its rich cultural heritage on one hand, and its modern infrastructure and skyscrapers on the other.

Islamabad in comparison is small, with a population of around 2 million. It is carefully planned, and was specifically built to be the capital city of Pakistan. It is very green and picturesque, and the beauty of Islamabad lies in its serenity. Islamabad is favored by many people in Pakistan, including foreigners and diplomats as well as our Chinese friends.

Sun Chao: When the rest of the world is talking about your country, what would you want them to remember or to know?

Ambassador Moin ul Haque: I want the world to remember Pakistan for what it really is – a beautiful country with diverse cultural heritage, exquisite natural resources, a booming youth population and breathtaking natural landscapes. It is a country of very friendly and warm people, who are known for their hospitality. I would particularly highlight the sincere affection and genuine love that people of my country have for the people of China.

Pakistan has the potential of being an amazing tourist destination, with all sorts of tourism – adventure tourism, coastal tourism and cultural tourism. We possess spectacular valleys, picturesque beaches especially in Balochistan, beautiful lakes, and majestic mountains including some of the highest mountains in the world.

The history of the country is spanned over many millennia. Various archaeological sites are also regarded as UNESCO world heritage sites now.

For the people of China, we want them to know that Pakistan is a country that has stood by China at all times. We generally say that the friendship between our two countries has withstood the vicissitudes of time, and changes in regional and international developments. We share weal and woe. In Chinese, we would say that our two countries "同甘共苦".

We hope that we could promote more exchanges of our people, and motivate more people to go to each other as tourists, travelers, and researchers. At the Embassy in Beijing, we have initiated various tourism projects and are also developing a tourism website in Chinese language. It would be our expectation that our effort will promote these people-to-people contacts and enhance a better comprehension of Pakistan's culture in China.

Over 30-year Professional Experience

Sun Chao: Mr. Ambassador, our audience are very interested in you and your professional life. Would you please share with us some unforgettable stories in your career?

Ambassador Moin ul Haque: I belong to the Pakistan Foreign Service with a career spanning more than thirty years. I have served in various parts of the world including Europe, South Asia, and North America. I have been in various circumstances and enjoyed very interesting and different experiences. During these diverse assignments, I had the experience to be at the center of some of the most far-reaching geopolitical and geostrategic developments having a profound impact on the whole world.

I was in New York in 2001 when the 911 happened, a traumatic experience, which had a tremendous impact on world politics. I was Pakistan's first Consul-General in Vancouver, Canada, where I had the privilege of establishing Pakistan's Consulate General from scratch. It was indeed an honor and a rewarding experience to raise the flag of Pakistan in a new place.

Another unforgettable experience was when President Xi Jinping visited Pakistan for the first time in April 2015. At that time I was Chief of Protocol, and therefore responsible for the arrangement of the visit. It was a historic visit as Pakistan-China relations were elevated to an 'All-Weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership'. It was a great honor and an extremely momentous time for me to be there and to witness the beginning of a new chapter in our two countries' special relationship.

Now since I'm here in China, it is already turning out to be a very special experience. Unquestionably my assignment in China would be the most extraordinary and unforgettable part of my career. I am particularly impressed by the warmth that Chinese people have for Pakistan. You would be aware of the word 巴铁, my reserved for Pakistan.

Unity, Faith and Discipline

Sun Chao: As our tradition of my interview, would you please share with us your favorite motto from your country?

Ambassador Moin ul Haque: From our childhood, every Pakistani learns about one motto: "Unity, faith, and discipline".

This meaningful motto was given to us by our founding father, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the Father of the Nation. While we were faced with enormous challenges in the wake of our Independence in 1947, this motto boosted our morale and strengthened our resolve to make Pakistan a peaceful, prosperous, progressive and pluralistic country.

And these values of unity, discipline, and of having faith in your strength and in your country are something that we also share with China. So people of China would be able to understand what I'm trying to say and the meaning of these three simple but very profound words: "Unity, faith, and discipline". The Chinese idiom about Unity being an impregnable stronghold (众志成城) says volumes of our convergence here.

Phase Two of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor

Sun Chao: Mr. Ambassador, as we know that China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a high-quality demonstration project under Belt and Road Initiative. How do you see China's Belt and Road Initiative?How to better engage in BRI?

Ambassador Moin ul Haque: China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, is a flagship project of Belt and Road Initiative, which is connecting various countries, regions and communities helping them to upgrade their physical infrastructure, developing agriculture and industrial sector, thus contributing to their overall economic and social development. In other words, BRI is an example of win-win cooperation among different countries and regions of the world.

CPEC is a transformational project for our country. It has facilitated the upgrade of our physical infrastructure, addressed our acute energy needs, and contributed to the development of Gwadar Port. It is very much in sync with Pakistan's renewed focus on geo-economics and economic security.

CPEC has now entered its second phase, with a focus on industry, agriculture, technology, tourism thus contributing to overall socio-economic development in the country. It is also helping in the development of remote areas, creation of jobs, and improving the livelihoods of people.

Sun Chao: Innovative and technology sectors, such as AI, big data, now are growing very fast in China and in many other Asian countries. How are the innovative sectors developing in Pakistan?

Ambassador Moin ul Haque: The world has entered into a digital era where new and emerging technologies like AI, robotics, 5G, big data, and quantum computing are having a huge impact on our lives. The useful applications of these technologies in sectors like trade, industry, agriculture, health and education cannot be denied.

Consequently, this area has the necessary attention of the government of Pakistan. An initiative called "Digital Pakistan" has been launched. The government has announced new policy package to promote innovation and research in IT areas. A number of incubation centers in the country have been established to assist new start-up companies.

A Special Technology Zones Authority has been set up with the mandate to promote and encourage entrepreneurship and innovation, ensure facilitation to technology players through a collaborative approach between government, industry and academia.

It is a fast-growing area of cooperation between China and Pakistan. Many Chinese technology companies are already working in Pakistan. For example, Huawei has a huge presence in Pakistan, contributing to not only the development of 4G and 5G networks but it has also built up a large training institute in Pakistan for the training of our software engineers.

Realizing the potential of our bilateral cooperation in IT sectors, we have established a Joint Working Group on IT under CPEC. During the recent visit of our Prime Minister to Beijing, we agreed to launch China-Pakistan Digital Corridor to further enhance cooperation in this regard.

Pakistan Women Play an Important Role in Nation-Building Process

Sun Chao: When I was working and studying overseas, I met some very talented female professionals from Pakistan. But on the other hand, there are some different and negative reports on female issues in Pakistan. I am wondering what the female development is now in Pakistan.

Ambassador Moin ul Haque: Women play a very important role in Pakistan. In our homes, they enjoy a special place as mothers, sisters, daughters and wives. They excel in education and many professions.

You would yourself have observed through your interactions that Pakistan women are enterprising, energetic and educated. Pakistani women are playing a crucial role in nation-building and are in leadership and executive positions in many sectors of the society, including politics, government and business.

Pakistan was the first Islamic country to have a female prime minister, Benazir Bhutto. And we have many excellent female leaders in our politics who serve as parliamentarians and ministers.

More and more women are now joining armed forces, flying fighter jets and working on naval ships. A large number are in police and administrative services. In Foreign Service now, almost half of our incoming diplomats are women.

Our Founding Father Mr. Jinnah used to say that without the energetic engagement of women, our nation cannot prosper and flourish. So from the very beginning, he motivated the women of the country to come forward and actively involve in the nation-building process. His sister Fatima Jinnah was an exceedingly significant lady in politics and his close confidante. Even after his death, she had remained very active in the public sphere, and served as a role model for the women of our country.

Enhance Exchanges between people-to-people

Sun Chao: Nowadays Chinese people are more and more interested in Pakistan's culture. For example, 2021 the first movie from Pakistan entered the Chinese market after 40 years. And at the celebration of the 70th anniversary of diplomat relations, there are over 140 events hosted by two countries.

Ambassador Moin ul Haque: In 2021 we celebrated 70 years of our diplomatic relations – an important milestone in our friendship journey of seven decades. We together organized more than 140 events, an extraordinary and unprecedented feat. Most of these events were in the field of culture, including art exhibitions, fashion shows, food festivals, literary gatherings and film festivals.

We also established 20 new sister province and sister city relations. These friendly agreements between our provinces and cities are now more than 40, and provide a solid framework for practical cooperation in the fields of trade, education, culture and people-to-people exchanges.

We are also promoting linkages between our academic institutions. There are a number of Pakistan study centers as well as Urdu Study Centers in many Chinese universities. Similarly, China has established Confucius Institutes in Pakistan. Chinese language is also gaining popularity in Pakistani schools and colleges.

We must build on the current momentum and further broaden and intensify our ties in these areas. In order to further foster a better understanding, we are also focusing on the area of tourism. An MoU on promoting tourism was signed in November 2021, and the Year 2023 will be celebrated as Year of Tourism Exchanges between our two countries.

Sun Chao: As Iron brothers, China and Pakistan now have the closest friendship in the world. What would be the goal for the future bilateral relations and friendship?

Ambassador Moin ul Haque: As one of the special relationships in the world, our friendship is based on enduring trust, mutual respect and win-win cooperation. Whatever the circumstances, and whatever the regional and international environment, this relation has remained constant.

I believe that the future of this relationship will be exceedingly bright, not only for our two countries, but also contributing to peace, progress and prosperity of our region and beyond.

There is complete consensus in our two countries to strengthen our All-Weather Strategic Partnership; promote cooperation in the areas of industry, agriculture and IT, and continue our joint efforts to increase cultural exchanges and people-to-people contacts.

China's Experience to the World

Sun Chao: 2021 President Xi Jinping announced China's overall victory in tackling China's poverty alleviation. How to see China's efforts to fight against poverty?

Ambassador Moin ul Haque: China's remarkable progress in its poverty-alleviation programme is indeed impressive. Lifting more than 800 million people from absolute poverty is a miracle of modern times. This has been possible due to vision and wisdom of CPC leadership, meticulous planning and sustained efforts. It was a 'whole-of-government' and 'whole-of-society' approach.

Our Prime Minister Imran Khan has also on many occasions praised the Chinese poverty-alleviation programme and its people-centric philosophy. His government's own programme 'Ehsaas' (meaning feelings) draws inspiration from Chinese experience. It is a social safety net for the poor people aimed at improving their lives and livelihoods.

Sun Chao: What is the most valuable experience in China's epidemic prevention that is worth sharing with the world? How to deal with the global challenges in the future?

Ambassador Moin ul Haque: The way China handled the pandemic is particularly impressive. I would like to congratulate the people and government of China for the decisive victory against the pandemic. You have basically controlled the epidemic in an effective, disciplined, and united manner, and to put it in Jinnah's word, you have defeated the pandemic through, "Unity, faith, and discipline".

Throughout this health crisis, China and Pakistan have supported each other and collaborated closely. Pakistan was the first country to get vaccine donation from China. To date, over 180 million doses have been provided, which are mainstay of our vaccine drive. We also jointly cooperated in the development of COVID-19 vaccine.

COVID-19 has shown that we require international cooperation and collective efforts to address global challenges. As President Xi puts it that instead of sailing in different smaller boats, we should sail together in one big ship in order to weather bigger storms.

Sun Chao: Mr. Ambassador, is there anything else you would like to share with us?

Ambassador Moin ul Haque: I consider it as a privilege to serve as Pakistan's Ambassador to China, and contribute towards the growth of the most significant bilateral relationship that Pakistan has.

This relationship is time-tested and timeless. It is only because of the nurturing by successive generations of our leadership and people that the friendship between Pakistan and China has remained unparallel in inter-state relations.

Through my experience, I feel that the relationship between our two countries is currently at a historic juncture, and it is incumbent on both our sides to seize this opportunity, build upon it and further strengthen the bilateral ties, building China-Pakistan community of shared future.

(Sun Chao is the Head of Belt and Road Ambassador Interview Program, the Author of Global Leaders on the Belt and Road Initiative)

Scan the QR code and push it to your mobile phone

Keyword: interview ambassador China-Pakistan ties


Horgos highway port sees doubled vehicle export this year

【Financial Str. Release】Cross-border capital inflows into China rebound in March, SAFE

Chinese consortium signs 412 mln USD contract to build gas processing facility in Iraq

China's auto parts exports see continued recovery in the first two months

Chinese yuan strengthens to 6.3653 against USD Friday

Write to Us belt & road login close

Do you want to be a contributor to Xinhua Silk Road and tell us your Belt & Road story? Send your articles to [email protected] and share your stories with more people.

Click on the button below to create your account and get im access to thousands of articles.

Start a Free Trial

Ask Us A Question belt & road login close

If you have any questions, please enter them in the box below.

Identifying code Reload

Write to Us belt & road login close

Do you want to be a contributor to Xinhua Silk Road and tell us your Belt & Road story? Send your articles to and share your stories with more people.

Click on the button below to create your account and get im access to thousands of articles.

Start a Free Trial