Pakistan, China Agree to Stand By Each Other
As the rift between Pakistan and the US deepens, China has agreed to stand by Pakistan “in all circumstances.” According to The Dawn, this announcement was made in the Boao Forum for Asia, which is run by a non-profit organization that hosts forums for foreign leaders, businesses, and academics, on the island of Hainan:
Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani and China’s Executive Vice Premier, Li Keqiang expressed these views as they met on the sidelines of the Boao Forum.
The Prime Minister said Pakistan greatly values China’s economic assistance and wished to promote closer collaboration in agriculture, irrigation, energy, infrastructure development, railways and security sectors.
He expressed the satisfaction that Pak-China Joint Energy Working Group, which will meet soon, was an encouraging landmark in the relations of two countries. He said the five-year Economic Trade Relation Plan is targeting projects that would stimulate social development in Pakistan.
He sought cooperation from the Chinese side on the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project. He said Pakistan wanted to maintain friendly relations with all its neighbours including China, India and Afghanistan. He mentioned resumption of composite dialogue with India and said Pakistan wanted a peaceful and stable Afghanistan.
The two leaders also discussed territorial integrity, and both sides have agreed to uphold each others sovereignty. The Economic Times adds:
In his meeting with Li, Gilani assured him that “China’s friend is our friend, and China’s enemy is ours,” a comment apparently aimed at highlighting the rift in US- Pakistan relations.
Gilani said Pakistan considers China’s security as its own security and supports its position on Taiwan, Tibet and Xinjiang, the Chinese province bordering Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, (PoK) which experienced increasing attacks by militants, some of whom, Chinese officials say were trained in Pakistan.
Pakistan is committed to fighting terrorism in all its forms, Gilani said and assured Li that Pak-China friendship remained a cornerstone of Pakistan’s foreign policy. Strategic and defence cooperation was an important component of Pak-China partnership, he said highlighting the defence ties between the two countries.
See also Pakistan and China ‘Like One Nation, Two Countries’ via CDT.