National flags of China and Pakistan flutter in front of the Tiananmen Square. (Photo: IC)
Netizens from China and Pakistan have hailed the bilateral brotherhood amid the COVID-19 outbreak, with many from China dubbing their Pakistani friends as "iron brothers - a term used in China to describe great friendship" as Thursday marked the 69th anniversary of diplomatic ties.
"Pakistanis are with China & would keep supporting China till the end. Live long China and Pakistan," a Twitter user named Zubair Butt tweeted on Thursday, while a YouTube user named Wajid Bashir described China as a trustworthy friend.
"Reflecting on the monumental journey traversed by Pakistan and China over the past seven decades calls to mind the Chinese proverb: 'Finding a soul mate who knows one's heart is far harder than striking gold,'" Pakistani Ambassador to China Naghmana Hashmi told the Global Times.
"Looking back at the past 69 years of shared weal and woe, Pakistan's confidence in this partnership has been well placed and well earned. It reminds me of Chairman Mao's 'idle boast the strong pass is a wall of iron; with firm strides we are crossing its summit'," Hashmi said.
From the Karakoram Highway, a crucial road linking China and Pakistan that China built during its hard times in the 1960s, to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, a flagship project under the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative, Jueming laoite, a user of Twitter-like social media Sina Weibo, posted a video describing the history of bilateral ties.
China and Pakistan - all-weather strategic partners - have enjoyed great relations in the past seven decades, not only in the diplomatic sphere but also at the civilian level. The two neighbors have always helped each other whenever there was a need, which has promoted the "iron brotherhood" between their citizens.
When the coronavirus started spreading across China in January, Pakistan almost emptied its medical reserves to help China, and Pakistani President Arif-ur-Rehman Alvi even paid a visit to Beijing to show solidarity with China.
At the beginning of the outbreak in China, the Pakistani government allocated 300,000 medical masks, 800 hazmat suits and 6,800 pairs of gloves from the stocks of public hospitals around the nation and transported the goods to China.
After China's domestic situation eased, the Chinese government and military, as well as the nation's enterprises and organizations, also lent support to Pakistan, buying and shipping medical supplies including test kits, real-time fluorescent kits, scanners, KN95 masks, gloves, goggles, protective clothing and medical teams to Pakistan.
Pakistan also passed two senate resolutions on unanimous vote - first on February 10 and the latest on May 14 to express solidarity with China over the fight against the COVID-19 outbreak and gratitude to China for supporting Pakistan during the COVID-19 crisis.
Pakistan stressed in the latest resolution that the virus is a common enemy for all and shall not be politicized or used to stigmatize China.
"The supporting hands from both China and Pakistan have reflected the solid and precious ties between the two countries," Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Yao Jing said this week.
"Looking forward to the milestone 70th anniversary in a year's time, there may be many uncertainties in the world, but Pakistan-China friendship is here to stay," Yao said.