ISLAMABAD: Former president Asif Ali Zardari has felicitated both Pakistan and China on completing 70 years of friendship. The foundation of this friendship was laid by Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto as the foreign minister of Pakistan, Mr Zardari said in a statement. “The longevity of this bond is a testament of the well-wishing nature and mutual respect between both countries. This friendship is regarded as deeper than the oceans and taller than the Himalayas, which has stood the test of time for several decades,” the statement says. “The PPP is proud to have initiated the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) which is a practical manifestation of the friendship between both countries. “The relations between the two countries and their people are so strong that China is commonly perceived as Pakistan’s closest ally.” President Zardari said that during his tenure as the president, he visited China several times because his policy was to strengthen the relations. It is hoped that the bond between the two countries will continue to grow.