Chinese, US researchers jointly develop new type of stable semiconductor graphene with 10 times higher performance than silicon

Researchers from China and the US have jointly created a new type of stable semiconductor graphene, which displays performance 10 times higher than silicon and 20 times larger than that of the other two-dimensional semiconductors. The achievement marks "a leap from silicon chips to carbon chips," Ma Lei, leader of the research from the Tianjin International Center for Nanoparticles and Nanosystems (TICNN) at Tianjin University, who led the research, told the Global Times.

The achievement, jointly made by Ma's team and researchers from School of Physics, Georgia Institute of Technology in the US, was published online on the website of the journal "Nature" on January 3, 2024.

With silicon-based chips gradually approaching the physical limit of two nanometers, there is a surge in global demand for chips based on high-quality semiconductor materials. Two-dimensional materials, due to their excellent electronic transport properties and potential for high integration, have become a new frontier that scientists and semiconductor companies around the world are eager to invest in. 

Graphene, as the first discovered two-dimensional material that can exist stably at room temperature, has been the focus of scientists' efforts since its discovery in 2004 to design a new type of chip that consumes less energy and operates faster than existing semiconductors. However, the unique Dirac Cones of graphene leads to its "zero bandgap" characteristic, which has been the biggest obstacle to its application in the semiconductor field. 

By precisely controlling the epitaxial growth process of graphene, Ma's team introduced a bandgap into graphene, creating a new type of stable semiconductor graphene, which exhibits electron mobility far exceeding that of silicon materials. It displays performance 10 times higher than silicon and 20 times larger than that of the other two-dimensional semiconductors.

"We mainly applied a special growth environment and growth conditions to modulate graphene itself using SiC crystals, achieving the opening of a bandgap in graphene. This transforms the originally gapless graphene into a material with a bandgap," Ma said. He noted that what the team created "is a true single-crystal graphene semiconductor."

The development of this semiconductor not only paves the way for high-performance electronic devices surpassing traditional silicon-based technologies but also injects new impetus into the entire semiconductor industry. As the limits predicted by Moore's Law draw closer, the emergence of semiconductor graphene heralds a fundamental shift in the field of electronics. Its breakthrough properties meet the growing demand for higher computing speeds and miniaturized integrated electronic devices, read a report on the Tianjin University's website.  

Once delivered into large scale production, the single-crystal semiconductor graphene will lay an important foundation for the transition from the silicon era to the carbon era. However, whether graphene semiconductors can lead to a breakthrough in the chip industry still needs time to test, Ma noted.

When asked how far the achievement is from industrialization, Ma said he currently cannot predict. "When it can be put into large-scale industrial applications depends on the process from millimeter-scale single crystals to inch-scale single crystals." 

In a related report on January 4 by yicai.com, Ma was quoted as saying that "I estimate that it will take another 10 to 15 years before graphene semiconductors can truly be fully implemented." 

Ma said that now he and his team are working hard to grow larger-sized graphene semiconductor single crystals.

In order to continue to promote the development of semiconductors, countries and regions all over the world are actively seeking new materials and paradigms in addition to two-dimensional materials. In November 2023, Huawei and Harbin Institute of Technology jointly applied for a "hybrid bonding method for three-dimensional integrated chips based on silicon and diamond." In September 2023, Japanese news outlet Nikkei reported that the Japanese startup company OOKUMA plans to commercialize diamond semiconductors, and will start production as early as the fiscal year 2026. 

With the intensification of competition, the US has been increasing its export control measures on chips to China, unreasonably suppressing Chinese semiconductor companies, and attempting to "strangle" China in the semiconductor chip field. 

In this context, the achievement by Chinese and American teams has attracted special attention. According to Ma, the intensification of China-US semiconductor competition has indeed had an impact on the cooperation between the scientific teams of the two countries, such as information exchange and sample exchange. However, overall, the cooperation between the two teams has been fruitful. 

"Healthy competition is an important factor in promoting development, while malicious competition hinders the development of technology. I hope that cooperation is the mainstream and competition is a stimulant. With cooperation as the mainstream, appropriate competition will make scientific development better and better," Ma noted.

Mutual visits of Chinese, US universities’ Ping Pong teams inject new strength into people-to-people exchanges: FM

The mutual visits of the table tennis teams from Chinese and the US' universities continued the friendly chapter of Ping-Pong Diplomacy and injected new strength into the two countries' people-to-people exchanges, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday when asked to comment on the Peking University students' visit to the US in December 2023, followed by a trip by students from the University of Virginia to China.

53 years ago, young table tennis players from China and the US raised the curtain for the normalization of bilateral relations in Beijing, enabling "the little ball to move the big ball," said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning at the Tuesday press conference.

"The more frequent exchanges the two countries' people have, the stronger the public support for developing bilateral relations, the broader the space, and the stronger the driving force there will be," Mao added.

From December 12 to 23, the Peking University table tennis team made up of 15 students and teachers was invited to visit the US to for the US Table Tennis Open in Los Angeles. They also participated in a series of events commemorating the 52nd anniversary of China-US Ping Pong Diplomacy in Washington, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, with close interactions between the young Americans and local residents.

"As the backbone of future society, young people from China and the US should step out of their countries and experience the lifestyle and culture of other countries. Ping Pong, as a medium of communication, has truly brought us closer," Wu Bohan, a student from the Peking University table tennis team told the Global Times.

"What impressed me the most is the huge interest and enthusiasm the American students showed during our visit to the US this time," Zhang Yuwen, a member of the Peking University table tennis team and student from the School of International Studies, told the Global Times. "Every time the Americans saw the name 'China' marked on our jerseys, they would come to ask where in China we come from; which games we play, and even wished us good luck in our games."

In return, 18 table tennis team members from the University of Virginia were invited to visit China, coinciding with the 45th anniversary of diplomatic ties between China and the US. They stayed in Beijing from January 4 to January 8 and participated in the youth table tennis exchange at Tsinghua University.

During their nine-day trip to China from Hong Kong, Beijing to Shanghai the students learnt about the history of Ping-Pong Diplomacy and cultural differences between the two countries.

Mao noted that China is willing to work with the US to implement the important consensus on promoting cultural exchanges reached at the China-US summit in San Francisco, to promote the spirit of "Ping-Pong Diplomacy," and to continue new chapters of friendship between the Chinese and American people.

Chinese shipbuilders draw growing orders, with deliveries as far-flung as 2028

Chinese shipbuilding enterprises have obtained the most orders from global clients, with their scheduled ship delivering time stretching as far-flung as 2028, China Media Group (CMG) reported on Saturday.

The delivery time for ships to be built by the Guangzhou Shipyard International Co has already been scheduled into 2027 and 2028, as ship owners worldwide are drawn to the company by its strengths in green production and environment protection, said Li Hao, an official from the company, the CMG reported.

More than 60 percent of the company's on-hand orders are methanol powered dual-fuel ships or liquefied natural gas fired dual-fuel models. Comparing with the conventional container ships, ultra-large container ships powered by dual-fuel can reduce 20 percent of carbon emissions, in addition to curbing 85 percent of nitrogen oxide and 99 percent of sulfur emissions.

China's shipbuilding industry has been ramping up efforts to advance the industry's high-quality development through intelligence and green technology, and the nation's shipbuilding completions, new orders and orders on-hand have achieved a marked growth in 2023.

From January to November in 2023, China completed shipbuilding of 38.09 million deadweight tons (dwt), a year-on-year increase of 12.3 percent, according to data from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. New orders recorded an annual growth of 63.8 percent to 68.45 million dwt, and the orders on-hand totaled 134.09 million dwt as of the end of November.

For instance, a mega vessel - with a loading capacity of up to 16,616 standard containers constructed by the company - is one of the largest container ships in tonnage under construction in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, Li said.

The intelligent transformation has also boosted shipbuilding efficiency, which is traditionally a labor-intensive process. Through intelligent transformation, the entire workshop for building a ro-ro passenger ship with over 20,000 square meters can be reduced from 200 people to 50 people by integrating more automation and robotics technology.

China's first domestically-built large cruise ship, the Adora Magic City, welcomed its first group of more than 3,000 Chinese and foreign passengers at the Shanghai Wusongkou International Cruise Terminal on the first day of 2024, embarking on its maiden commercial voyage.

China's top court releases typical cases of disputes over betrothal gifts

A series of typical cases related to bride price and dowry were issued by China’s top court and other departments on Monday as reference and supplement to the stipulations in the Civil Code in dealing with disputes over bride price when couples break up. 

According to China’s Supreme People’s Court, as a traditional Chinese custom, bride price and dowry have a deep social and cultural foundation in the Chinese society. However, the rising amount of bride price and dowry in recent years has led to an increasing number of bride price-related disputes and even serious criminal cases, China Central Television reported on Monday. 

A recent murder case of two victims related to the disputes over bride price happened in Liangshan, Southwest China’s Sichuan Province, on November 11. The incident sparked heated discussions online. 

A woman and her relative were killed by the woman’s ex-boyfriend and his father at a local mahjong parlor after the woman refused to return the bride price despite that she decided to break up with the man. The woman received 300,000 yuan ($41,741) in bride price but returned 150,000 yuan to the man after they broke up, according to media reports. 

On Monday, the Supreme People’s Court, together with China’s Ministry of Civil Affairs and All-China Women’s Federation held a press conference to release four cases involving disputes over bride price and dowry, which balanced the interests of the involved parties. The ruling took local economic and social development into account, and gave consideration to factors such as the duration of cohabitation, whether they have registered for marriage legally, and whether they have children. 

According to the Civil Code, there are three situations the bride price should be returned: the couple have not registered legally, they registered but don’t live together, or the payment of betrothal gifts causes financial difficulties for the payer. 

However, in practice, there are many cases in which the couples have not registered legally but have held weddings according to local customs and have lived together. Sometimes the couples have registered their marriage but only live for a short period of time. The Civil Code does not apply to these cases. 

According to the Supreme People’s Court, this batch of representative cases clarifies three principles for handling betrothal disputes: prohibiting soliciting property through marriage; the reasonable betrothal gifts amount based on local practice and customs; and the balance of rights and interests of both parties by considering their duration of cohabitation, marriage registration status and whether they have children.

Two common situations where disputes of betrothal gifts often occur is “flash divorce” and living together without legal registration of marriage. 

The court clarified that in addition to marriage registration, the bride price is usually meant for living together for a long time. Thus, the time of cohabitation should be considered an important factor in determining whether and how much the bride price should be returned. 

Meanwhile, considering that the termination of pregnancy causes harm to a woman’s health, it is appropriate to return only part of the bride price to better balance the interests of both parties.

In one case where the couple did not register their marriage but held a wedding ceremony according to local customs, lived together for three years and had conceived a child, the court did not support the return of the bride price to protect the woman’s legitimate rights and interests. 

Besides, the top court also noted that bride price and dowry are both traditional Chinese marriage customs which share a common purpose and should be subject to the same rules based on local customs. 

China's elderly population aged 60 and over reaches 280m, 19.8% of total

China's elderly population aged 60 and above reached 280.04 million by the end of 2022, accounting for 19.8 percent of the total population, according to the latest report released by the Ministry of Civil Affairs. Demographers say China has paid great attention to addressing challenges brought by the aging population but more can be improved, such as further optimizing China's social security system.

The country's elderly population aged 65 and over reached 209.78 million in 2022, accounting for 14.9 percent of the total population, while the national dependency ratio of the elderly population aged 65 and above hit 21.8 percent, the report titled Communique on the Development of the National Cause for Aging said. 

Since China became an aging society at the end of the 20th century, the number and proportion of the elderly population have continued to grow. From 2000 to 2018, the elderly population aged 60 and above increased from 126 million to 249 million, and in 2022, the number reached 280 million. The proportion of elderly population also increased from 10.2 percent in 2000 to 17.9 percent in 2018, and further to 19.8 percent in 2022. 

After the founding of the People's Republic of China, there have been three birth peaks. It is expected that the size of the elderly population will reach the peak of 520 million in 2054, Yuan Xin, a professor from the Institute of Population and Development at Nankai University's School of Economics, told the Global Times.

"China's aging rate is faster than that of 15 countries with more than 100 million people in the world. One of the reasons is the drop in the fertility rate," Yuan noted. China's fertility rate is estimated to have dropped to a record low of 1.09 in 2022, data from China Population and Development Research Center showed. 

China's pressure in dealing with such a large elderly population is unprecedented, not only in terms of size but also in terms of the rapid increase in growth, Yuan noted. 

Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, more than 300 documents and plans for the elderly population have been issued at or above the provincial or ministerial level. 

Wang Jianjun, former executive deputy director of the Office of the National Working Commission on Aging, has said that prioritizing the health of the elderly, China has seen improvements in providing basic insurance care and has built a complete welfare system to support the aging society.

When it comes to the supply of elderly care services, the report is optimistic, saying in this area it is being "continuously enhanced."

In 2022, the compliance rate of supporting elderly care service facilities in newly built residential areas in cities across the country reached 83.2 percent. Improvement of quality and efficiency among special care hospitals and hospitals for the family of martyrs has been seen after the central budget delineated support for them, the report said. 

Data shows that by the end of 2022, there were 387,000 elderly care institutions and facilities of various types across the country, with a total of 8.294 million elderly care beds.

Among them, 41,000 were registered elderly care institutions, an increase of 1.6 percent over the previous year, with 5.183 million beds, an increase of 2.9 percent over the previous year. There are, by the end of 2022, 347,000 community elderly care service institutions and facilities with 3.111 million beds, according to the report.

Additionally, China continues to optimize the establishment of majors related to elderly care services at secondary vocational schools, higher vocational colleges, and higher vocational undergraduate schools.

Also, the National Development and Reform Commission and other departments have introduced several policies and measures to provide relief and support to the elderly care and childcare service industry. 

The Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development has guided qualified regions to explore providing vacant public rental housing free of charge to social institutions, so that they can provide meal assistance, day care, rehabilitation care, elderly education and other services for the elderly in the community, according to the report. 

Yuan told the Global Times that if society offers more social participation opportunities for the elderly by raising the retirement age, the income status and consumption willingness of the elderly population would be a huge potential market and new economic growth point. 

The demographer said supporting facilities and systems would have to be established to support the raising of the retirement age, for example, letting the elderly choose whether to extend their retirement flexibly and if they are okay to do part-time work.

Hong Kong's top fencer shines at Chengdu Games

Hong Kong, China's Olympic fencing gold medalist Cheung Ka-long shone at the Chengdu FISU Games on Friday. Putting on a wonderful and steady performance, Cheung triumphed over France's Loisel Pierre with a score of 15-12, winning the gold medal in the men's foil individual bout. 

At the beginning of the match, Cheung was trailing 2-4, but he quickly adjusted and went on to win five consecutive points, gradually taking control of the match. 

In this individual men's foil competition, there were a total of 68 participants divided into 10 groups, with 50 players advancing to the knockout stage. Cheung was well-prepared and successfully advanced from the group stage with a perfect record of six wins. In the knockout stage, he defeated competitors from Chinese Taipei, Hungary, France, and his teammate to advance to the final and ultimately claim the championship.

The 26-year-old stated that this is his first and final participation in the Universiade, and it is also his first time participating in a major multi-sport event since the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. 

Cheung told the Global Times that he felt a great atmosphere at the scene as the audience erupted with enthusiastic cheers.

Cheung became Hong Kong, China's first Olympic fencing gold medalist, beating the pre-match favorite and defending champion Daniele Garozzo 15-10 in the men's individual foil final on July 26, 2021.

China's Hong Kong SAR has sent its largest delegation in history, with a total of 142 athletes, to the Chengdu Games.

In the fencing event, the Hong Kong team has performed exceptionally well. 

On Wednesday, Hong Kong fencer Hsieh Kaylin Sin-yan impressed everyone by winning the gold medal in the women's sabre individual competition, the first gold medal to be won in the fencing event at the Chengdu Games. 

Cheung's teammate, Lu Jian-ming, also achieved success by winning the bronze medal in the individual foil event. 

Cheung said he is proud of his teammate's outstanding performance. Next, Cheung will participate in the men's foil team event representing the Hong Kong, China team.

On July 30, Cheung led the Hong Kong Fencing Team to a bronze medal in the men's foil team event at the 2023 World Fencing Championships.

He told the Global Times that they will continue to work hard and strive for better results, building on their current momentum.

Paddler wins first gold as Chinese delegation dominates medal table

Chinese paddler Xie Maosan claimed the first gold medal of the Hangzhou Asian Para Games in East China's Zhejiang Province as the Chinese delegation pulled off strong performances to dominate the medal table on the opening day.

Xie claimed the gold medal in the Women's KL1 canoe final on Monday morning at the Fuyang Water Sports Center, which is also the first gold of the Hangzhou Para Games.

Xie, a tailor-turned-athlete, told the Global Times after the match that sports boosted her confidence and changed her life. 

"As one of 85 million people with disabilities in China, I want to tell them to go out of their homes and explore the world. You can also fight for laurels for China like I did," said Xie. 

"I hope I can have the national flag raised again at the 2024 Paris Paralympic Games."

After watching a dance performance delivered by people with disabilities at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, Xie set her sights on showcasing her athleticism on a big stage, and canoeing offer her a perfect opportunity. 

Despite serious back injuries, the 37-year-old has been sticking to a rigorous training regime that sees her spending six hours a day on the water.

"Being in a canoe made me feel like I was reborn. When I paddle on the water, I feel like an able-bodied person as I can go to anywhere I want. Canoeing gave me a new life," Xie noted. "Life is about moving forward against the odds, surpassing yourself, and challenging yourself."

In athletics, Shi Yiting broke the world record to win gold at the women's 200m -T36 final with a time of 28.17 seconds at the Huanglong Sports Centre Stadium. Her compatriot Li Sishuang finished the race with a bronze.

"I'm really satisfied, for I pulled out my best performance. Because of the discomfort in my feet, my training intensity was not hight. However, I finally rose above myself at this home competition," Shi said.

"I love you all; my dad, my coach, teammates, and staff who have always been helping me," Shi noted.

Di Dongdong and Ye Tao won gold and silver medals in the men's Long Jump-T11.

Meanwhile, powerlifter Guo Lingling also set a new world record of 123 kilograms in the women's 41kg final. 

As of Monday, China topped the medal table with 31 golds, 29 silvers and 23 bronzes, followed by Iran and Uzbekistan in second and third places. 

Athletics, swimming, table tennis, weightlifting, wheelchair fencing, badminton, cycling and archery are some of the events in which China excels.

The Chinese delegation topped the Para Games medal table three times with 185 gold medals in Guangzhou in 2010, followed by 174 in Incheon, South Korea in 2014 and 172 in Jakarta, Indonesia in 2018.

Culture Beat: ‘Gravity’ exhibition displayed in CAFA

Gravity, the inaugural exhibition of the second phase of a youth experimental project, recently opened at the Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA) Art Museum. 

The exhibition showcases the personal works of Chen ­Mingqiang, a faculty member of the Experimental Art and Science and Technology Art College at CAFA. The exhibition features 14 of Chen's recent works, aiming to present the artist's creative thinking and new artistic imagery.

The inspiration for the exhibition came from a serendipitous event during the artist's creation: A bird flying over a courtyard "left a mark" on a work placed in the courtyard due to the force of gravity, which sparked Chen's creative impulse. 

Gravity is a force that humans experience at all times, and all objects are endowed with mutual gravitational influence. 

The artist's creative orientation and inspiration are no different. Everything perceivable in life guides the artist in his self-creation. 

The "Wide Angle Youth Experimental Project Space" is an experimental field for displaying the curatorial and creative work of young teachers at the Central Academy of Fine Arts. It aims to assist and promote young teachers and students to make positive responses to interdisciplinary linkage, regional cultural research, and traditional Chinese culture through diverse exhibition projects. 

Thailand aims to ensure safety, restore tourists confidence after deadly mall shooting

Thailand will take steps to ensure safety and restore confidence among tourists, officials said on Wednesday, one day after a shooting at a renowned shopping mall in downtown Bangkok that killed two people and injured five others.

The Thai government has attached great importance to this matter and will implement measures to prevent the recurrence of similar incidents, Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin said after joining a one-minute silence at the mall and expressing condolences to the deceased.

He added that the government will be working on the implementation of an alert system to notify the public about emergency situations.

In a press conference, Tourism and Sports Minister Sudawan Wangsuphakijkosol said that government agencies would work harder to restore confidence among tourists.

The police have encouraged shopping malls and other public places to implement stricter security screening and be constantly prepared by providing training for security personnel, Samran Nualma, Assistant Commissioner-General of the Thai Police, told the news conference.

Investigators initially pressed five charges against the suspected gunman, including premeditated murder, attempted murder, illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition, illegally carrying a weapon, and firing shots in a public place, Nakharin Sukhonthawit, commander of Metropolitan Police Division 6, told reporters.

China-Pakistan partnership: Bridging nations, building communities

Editor's Note:

China and Pakistan share a long-standing friendship that dates back to the early 1950s. Over the years, this relationship has evolved into a robust strategic partnership, with the two countries often being referred to as "iron brothers." In an exclusive piece penned ahead of the Third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar, highlights the deep-rooted brotherhood and ironclad relations between China and Pakistan. He not only emphasizes the strength of bilateral ties between both countries, but also commends China's significant contributions to the global community.

By Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar 

The tale of China-Pakistan relations is not an ordinary one. It is an account of brotherhood, friendship, and trust, the foundations of which were laid more than 70 years ago. The vision of the leadership of our two countries at the time laid a solid basis for a relationship, which has subsequently been carefully nurtured into a robust, vibrant, time-tested, all-weather strategic cooperative partnership. Pakistan and its people, with absolute confidence, value the relationship greatly, and proudly call China our "best friend." It is heart-warming that in China, the term "Ba Tie" (Iron Brother) is reserved only for Pakistan. 

The timeless Pakistan-China partnership and deep-rooted friendship serves the interests of both countries, being the historic choice of our people. Pakistan-China relations remain the cornerstone of our foreign policy. The close time-tested friendship with China enjoys the abiding support of the people of Pakistan.

With a time-honored history of brotherhood, our two countries have stood together, rain or shine, building an exemplary iron-clad friendship. Despite the vicissitudes of times and changes in the international landscape, the all-weather strategic cooperative partnership has grown into a towering tree with its deep roots of love in the hearts of the two peoples. The bond of love and affection that the peoples of the two countries have for each other indeed remains higher than the mountains, deeper than the sea, and sweeter than honey. 

Zhou Enlai, China's first premier, once said that "the friendly interactions between the peoples of China and Pakistan date back to the dawn of history." Certainly, Pakistan-China relations are the continuation of ancient civilizational bonds that have existed between our two nations since ancient times. The flow of trade through the ancient Silk Road and geographical proximity brought the two great Asian civilizations together. Monks and thinkers from China made their historical journeys to Taxila and other Buddhist places in Pakistan, painting a beautiful picture of the Gandhara civilization and bringing Buddhist wisdom to China, thus binding the two nations together in an everlasting bond.

The historical evolution of the Pakistan-China relationship, and its growing importance in the wake of evolving regional and global developments, is an exemplary model of inter-state relationship. The unique relationship of more than seven decades, underpinned by the rationale of strong political support, mutual trust, and all-round practical cooperation, has matured into a strong strategic partnership.

I will soon be traveling to Beijing on my first visit after assuming office, to participate in the Third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation - an event which will mark the completion of a decade of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the iconic and visionary project proposed by President Xi Jinping.

We pay tribute to the vision and statesmanship of President Xi who, 10 years ago, propounded the vision of building a global community of shared future, introducing a novel concept for international development partnership, a new idea for global governance and cooperation, and a fresh approach toward international exchanges, thus drawing up a new blueprint for a better interconnected world.

The core of the visionary concept is built on socio-economic development; with a focus on the elements of inclusivity, common prosperity, and win-win cooperation. It embodies the ideals of an open, interconnected, clean, and beautiful world that enjoys lasting peace and sustainable security. As we delve more into this concept, it becomes clear that it draws upon ancient Chinese philosophy and wisdom. 

The concept of "tianxia datong," translated as "harmony under heaven," refers to the whole world and promotes diversity, while emphasizing harmonious and mutual interdependence as the means to enduring peace. 

As noted by the recent BRI white paper released by the China's State Council, the BRI is a key pillar of the global community of shared future. The subsequent unveiling of the concepts - including the Global Development Initiative (GDI), the Global Security Initiative (GSI), and the Global Civilization Initiative (GCI) - have further refined the concept of a global community of shared future.

Pakistan was among the first countries to join the BRI. As the flagship project of the BRI, the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) marks a milestone in Pakistan-China relations, by placing economic cooperation and connectivity at the very center of the bilateral agenda, making the two countries more interconnected than ever before. The CPEC remains a shining example of the BRI's promise of economic prosperity and connectivity. It has transformed the socio-economic landscape of Pakistan, upgrading modern infrastructure, enhancing regional connectivity, ensuring energy security, and creating jobs.

This year Pakistan hosted a series of events and activities marking the successful first decade of the CPEC. We were also pleased to welcome Chinese Vice Premier He Lifeng, the special representative of President Xi, in Pakistan to attend the Decade of CPEC celebration event.

Pakistan remains committed to jointly building the CPEC. We fully endorse China's proposal of developing the CPEC as a corridor of growth, livelihood, innovation, greenness and openness - representing our two countries' preference for a human-centric approach, inclusivity, and green development. 

Pakistan is also a pioneering member of the Group of Friends of the Global Development Initiative (GDI) and has played an active role in giving it a more concrete shape. As the first priority partner under the GDI, and the first one to ink an MoU on the GDI, Pakistan stands ready to benefit from this cooperation in areas of education, healthcare, climate change, and poverty reduction, thus making meaningful contributions to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals in a timely manner. 

Pakistan has also supported the Global Security Initiative and its adherence to the UN Charter and principles of multilateralism and non-interference in other countries' internal affairs. Having long suffered due to unresolved disputes, conflicts, and terrorism, we also advocate for dialogue and constructive engagement based on mutual respect, to ensure regional peace in South Asia.

The Global Civilization Initiative is yet another landmark and timely initiative proposed by President Xi, promoting respect for diversity, peaceful co-existence, mutual learning, and inclusiveness. In a world marred with discord and divisiveness, dialogue between civilizations can be a means to peace and reconciliation. 

Pakistan's foreign policy objectives have always been those of "peace within and peace without," as outlined by our founding father Muhammad Ali Jinnah. It was, therefore, all but natural for Pakistan to endorse these key initiatives put forth by President Xi.

In a world marred by multiple challenges like conflicts, economic recessions, food insecurity, social inequalities, and climate change, the salience of the Pakistan-China all-weather strategic cooperative partnership assumes great importance. 

It is a source of pride and comfort for our two peoples and a factor of peace and stability in the region and beyond. Ours is a relationship of the past, present, and future, and nothing can alter this reality. 

As per our long-standing tradition, we support each other on our core issues. We are grateful to China for its support for Pakistan's sovereignty, territorial integrity, and economic security, and its principled support on the issue of Kashmir. We reaffirm our commitment to the one-China principle and our support to China on its core issues related to Taiwan, Hong Kong, Xizang (Tibet), Xinjiang, and the South China Sea.

As close friends, strategic partners, and iron brothers, Pakistan and China are moving forward toward a destiny of shared future. I remain confident and convinced that our friendship will further strengthen in the coming days and attain even greater heights in the years to come.

Long live the Pakistan-China friendship!

The author is Prime Minister of Pakistan