ISLAMABAD: Minister for Foreign Affairs Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Thursday said the time-tested relationship of Pakistan and China was flourishing with each passing day, unaffected by the vicissitudes of time and changes in the regional and global environment. In his address at the issuance of commemorative coin in connection with the celebrations marking 70 years of the establishment of the Pak-China diplomatic relations, he said that unrelenting efforts of the successive generations of people, and the leadership had transformed the relationship into an ‘all-weather strategic cooperative partnership.’ The coin’s denomination has been kept at Rs 70, depicting the 70 years of all-weather, time-tested and brotherly relationship between Pakistan and China. The foreign minister said that the relationship of Pakistan and China was unique in the world with the historic ties stretching over the span of millennia. “Historically, academics, monks, travellers and traders frequently traversed stretches of trans-Karakorum tracts and laid the foundation of this fraternal bond,” he said. Qureshi said that Pakistan and China steadfastly supported each other on the issues of core interest. He said that Pakistan adhered to ‘One-China’ policy, and supported China on issues such as Xinjiang, Hong Kong, South China Sea, Taiwan and Tibet. He said that China stood by Pakistan in supporting the key strategic, economic and developmental priorities. “Maintaining its principled stance, China has unwaveringly supported Pakistan on the Jammu Kashmir issue,” he said. On the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), he said that the venture brought the relationship to new heights. After the successful conclusion of its first phase, Qureshi said that CPEC had entered into second phase with focus on industrial cooperation, trade, agriculture and socio-economic development. Ground-breaking of Rashakai Special Economic Zone last month had the potential to spur industrialization and enhance Pakistan’s exportable surplus, he added. In the wake of emerging global and regional environment, he said that Pakistan had recalibrated its priorities from geo-politics to geo-economics. “The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), being the flagship project of the Belt Road Initiative (BRI), complements Pakistan’s renewed efforts of geo-economic shift with emphasis on economic integration and regional connectivity,” he said. For generations, Pakistan and China had had the fine tradition of standing by each other through thick and thin, he said. After the outbreak of COVID-19 in China and Pakistan, both the countries extended material and moral support to each other in their respective efforts to contain the pandemic, he added. “We remain grateful to the Chinese government and people for their steadfast support, which has been instrumental in saving precious lives in Pakistan,” he said. He said that Pakistan had robust engagement with China in economic and financial sectors. The second phase of China-Pakistan Free Trade Agreement (CPFTA), signed during the prime minister’s visit to Beijing in 2019, had been operationalized since January 1, 2020. It had the potential to enhance Pakistan’s exports to China. To facilitate financial transactions and arrangements, he said Pakistan also had currency swap agreement with China. He said both the countries had robust cooperation in banking sectors as well, besides Pakistani commercial banks had started operations in China. The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), he said, as the regulator of the monetary and credit system of Pakistan, had a pivotal role in further deepening the relationship. State Bank Governor Dr Reza Baqir said it was an honour for the central bank to be part of the tribute being paid by the government of Pakistan by issuing the commemorative coin to celebrate the diplomatic relationship of the two countries. He said it was the fourth time the SBP had issued a commemorative coin relating to Pak-China relations, and recalled that earlier coins were issued on founding anniversary of People’s Republic of China, establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries and on the occasion to mark Pakistan-China Year of Friendship. Chinese Ambassador Nong Rong said both the government and people of China loved their Pakistani brethren, and desired to see the country making progress in every sphere of life. He said that both Pakistan and China shared same views on all-important international issues. The coin will be issued through the exchange counters of the SBP Banking Services Corporation from June 11. The coin is in round shape milled with serrations on the edge, diameter of 30.00mm, weight 13 grams, and has Cupro-Nickel metal contents (Copper 75% & Nickel 25%). The first coin of Rs 10 denomination was issued in October 2009 celebrating the auspicious occasion of 60th anniversary of founding of China. The second coin of Rs 20 was issued in May 2011 to celebrate 60th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between Pakistan and China as Year of Pak-China Friendship – 2011. The third coin was issued in 2015 to mark Pakistan-China Year of Friendly Exchange 2015.