(By Yasir Habib Khan):-
Chinese Consulate Lahore has conferred 21 “Friendship Awards 2022” to prominent Pakistani individuals and institutions in a ceremony held at Lahore Gymkhana Club.
This year, the Consulate has, based on merits and contributions of the relevant stakeholders and also taking representation into account, chosen 17 excellent individuals and 4 institutions from different fields and areas as the Friendship Award recipients. Institute of International Relations and Media Research (IIRMR), a think-tank dedicated for Sino-Pak relations, global diplomacy, CPEC and BRI, is also among the recipient of “Friendship Awards 2022”.
Speaking on the occasion, Chinese Consul General Lahore Zhao Shiren said that the year of 2022 almost drawing to a close, it is high time to celebrate wonderful efforts and great endeavors made by 21 individuals and institutions in promoting the Chinese Narrative in Pakistan, strengthening Pak-China bilateral relations and enhancing practical cooperation in various sectors.
“I have two announcements to share with you. Starting from January 8, there would be no more compulsory quarantine requirement upon entry of China for international travelers, given a negative PCR test within 48 hours before your departure. Next year will again see China hosting the Third High-level International Forum on Belt & Road Initiatives,” he said.
Three days from now, he said , China will usher in a new year, the year of 2023, the year of the Rabbit in Chinese lunar calendar. “Rabbit, small in size and agile in action, is in Chinese culture, the symbol of dynamism and great ambition. So the year 2023 marks a defining moment for us to further cement the partnership between our two countries and peoples, and our collaboration should also be more dynamic, resilient, sustainable and achieve a new height through our mutual concerted efforts,” he mentioned.
“The CPC 20th National Congress was successfully held in October, and China launched major diplomatic initiatives on South East Asia and the Middle East. We revitalized our physical engagement with Europe and kept the international strategic balance on track, hedging the instability and uncertainty of world political and economic landscape with predictable and credible policies,” he added.
He said that Prime Minister Shehbaz paid his successful maiden visit to China, and the CPEC projects are gaining new momentum into its high-quality development. “Although our two countries are facing and dealing with various kinds of difficulties, challenges and problems on both domestic and international fronts, the state of our bilateral relations is strong and will remain so and even grow stronger in the coming days. Against this backdrop, the Consulate General of China in Lahore has also made its tireless efforts in promoting mutual trust, business cooperation, cultural and educational exchanges between China and the Punjab,” he opined.
“With the support and efforts of Pakistani friends, brothers and sisters of the media houses, think tanks, universities, business chambers, public institutions, consular corps, law enforcement agencies and Chinese associations, we are forging ahead together to make things happen,” he concluded .