Lahore: Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif has said the Punjab government plans to send 500 youths to China for learning the Chinese language "which is the need of the hour". Addressing an event here to see off the first batch of 66 students selected for a two-year Chinese language course, the chief minister said the youth "have to prove through their character that Pakistan-China friendship is everlasting and Pakistanis and Chinese are brothers". He also said that China has become the second biggest economic power in the world and has proved its mettle across the world. He said the political, diplomatic and economic importance of China is established, The Nation reported on Thursday. Shehbaz Sharif said that after learning the Chinese language, the youth have to play the role of master-trainers and added that a bright future awaits them. Sharif said that while Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Iran and a number of other countries are also friends of Pakistan, the Pakistan-China friendship is "unprecedented". The chief minister said friendship and economic cooperation with China is important in many respects. He said China has proved that a friend in need is a friend indeed. He said Pakistan has got loans of $60 billion during the last 68 years. He said that, on the one hand, there are loans of $60 billion, while on the other hand, China is making investment of $46 billion in Pakistan. He said China has given this big investment package "unconditionally" to Pakistan and made no demand to "Do More" which is proof of the "love of Chinese leadership" with the people and leadership of Pakistan. Chinese Consul General Yu Boren, senior government officials, university vice chancellors and other officers concerned were present on the occasion.