China's hockey team leader on Tuesday said his players were delighted to be on tour in Pakistan and expressed hope they would pave the way for other international sportsmen to visit.
The first foreign hockey team to tour the troubled country in seven years, the Chinese will this month play four matches against Pakistan.
International sporting events have been suspended in Pakistan since gunmen attacked the Sri Lankan cricket team in the eastern city of Lahore in March 2009, killing eight people and wounding seven visiting team members.
“We are happy to be here and since Pakistan is our friendly country we always wanted to tour here and we have no security problems," Chinese team leader Li Gaochao told a press conference in Karachi.
China is fast becoming a top Asian hockey team since beating Pakistan in the semi final of the 2006 Asian games in Doha, Qatar.
They play their first match against Pakistan in Karachi on Wednesday, followed by another on Thursday, a third in Faisalabad on Saturday and the fourth in Lahore on Christmas Day.
“Pakistan and China have tremendous cooperation in almost all walks of life and our hockey team owe a great deal to Pakistan for helping us in training and coaching," said Li.