Negative forces will fail in creating wedge in Pakistan-China relations

Ambassador Masood Khan said Friday that in last six decades, three major initiatives taken by Pakistan paved the way for deepening Pakistan-China all-weather, strategic cooperative partnership.

He said both sides are “entwined so closely that any move to hurt China’s security in Xinjiang hurts us simultaneously.”

“Our two countries will continue to fight the ETIM. Our solidarity in this regard is rock solid. No country or force can drive a wedge between us,” the Ambassador said in a key note address at a seminar held at China Institute of International Studies (CIIS).

The seminar was organized by CIIS to mark the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Pakistan and China. Highlighting the three major pillars of Pakistan-China friendship, he said; First, Pakistan openly demanded restoration of China’s legitimate right in the UN Security Council. Second, Pakistan and China signed the 1963 border agreement. Third, Pakistan provided a corridor to China at a time when China was facing blockade.

These steps defined the setting for strategic, military, economic and trade ties between our two countries, he said.

He pointed out that Pakistan and China have now been cooperating beyond the realm of bilateral relations. “China recognizes the tremendous sacrifices Pakistan has made in the war against terrorism. We deeply appreciate China’s support to our efforts to uphold our sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity” he remarked.

Ambassador Khan said that China’s policy of developing its Western region, especially Xinjiang, offers a historic opportunity for bringing Pakistan and China even closer and using Kashgar and Khorgos as launching pads for the modern day Silk Road. “Pakistan’s regions of Gilgit-Baltistan and Khyder-Pakhtunkhwa are keen to participate in the development of the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Kashgar. Ultimately we are working for Pak-China integrated border management and trans-regional economic zones of China, Pakistan and Afghanistan,” he noted. Enhanced connectivity between China and Pakistan, he said, will radically alter the geo-economic landscape of East Asia-West Asia neighborhood. He noted that once such connectivity becomes effective, Pakistan will be a bridge between China, Middle East, Africa and Europe.

“We are working on several projects. Up-gradation of the existing Karakorum Highway takes priority. Ground work has been done for a fiber optic link, a railroad and more frequent connections by air. This route would then be used for transportation of oil and gas or laying pipelines. China, he said, has publicly supported Pakistan’s sovereignty, adding that Chinese government has publicly required the US government to respect Pakistan’s sovereignty after US Navy SEALS carried out the raid on Bin Laden’s house in Abbottabad. Similarly, Hu said ever since the late 1950s, Pakistan has always shown respect and even provided solid support to China’s core issues including Taiwan and Tibet. He said Pakistan and China can cooperate with each other in the reconstruction and development of Afghanistan. China can utilize Pakistan’s influence in Afghanistan.

China and Pakistan are two of the most important decisive factors in the development of Afghanistan. Renowned Chinese expert on South Asia, Ma Jia Li also participated in panel discussion.

http://www.onlinenews.com.pk/details.php?id=182570

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