- China says presence of Pakistani leadership, athletes proves “iron-clad friendship” has taken root in people’s hearts.
- Beijing says visit “reflects Pakistan’s determination to uphold Olympic spirit”.
- China’s comments come days after PM Imran Khan and his high-level delegation returned to Pakistan after concluding four-day visit.
Amid a boycott by some countries, China on Wednesday “highly” appreciated Prime Minister Imran Khan for attending the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympic Winter Games.
Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian, while speaking during a regular press conference, noted that the presence of the Pakistani leadership and athletes proved that the “iron-clad friendship between China and Pakistan has taken root in people’s hearts” and these congenial relations “enjoy people’s support in both countries”.
“We also highly appreciate Prime Minister Imran Khan’s attendance at the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympic Winter Games, Pakistani athletes’ participation in the Games, and great support of Pakistani people from all walks of life,” said Zhao.
The spokesperson said that the visit and participation “not only carries on the fine tradition of mutual support” between Islamabad and Beijing but also “reflects Pakistan’s determination to uphold the Olympic spirit and live up to the Olympic ideal”.
“The opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympic Winter Games has presented China and Chinese culture to the world, fulfilled China’s commitment of hosting a ‘streamlined, safe and splendid’ Olympic Games, and demonstrated the vision that all countries form a community sharing the same future,” said the spokesperson.
The Chinese foreign ministry’s comments come days after Prime Minister Imran Khan and his high-level delegation returned to Pakistan after concluding their four-day visit.
The prime minister’s four-day visit included meetings with top Chinese leadership, the business community, the signing of several memoranda of understandings (MoUs), and attending the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics — as a sign of solidarity with Beijing.
Before leaving for Pakistan, PM Imran Khan met President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of People in Beijing — the first meeting of the two leaders since the prime minister’s visit to China in October 2019.
The two leaders reviewed the entire gamut of Pakistan-China bilateral cooperation, while also exchanging views on regional and global issues of mutual interest, a PM Office statement said.