News / Asia

China, Pakistan Vow All-Weather Friendship

Pakistan's Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, center, and China's Premier Wen Jiabao, right, clap at a singing ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, May 18, 2011
Pakistan's Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, center, and China's Premier Wen Jiabao, right, clap at a singing ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, May 18, 2011
Stephanie Ho

China and Pakistan are highlighting their 60 years of close friendship, as Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani met with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao in China.  

Chinese state television showed Premier Wen Jiabao welcoming Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani to the Great Hall of the People.

Mr. Wen said that no matter what international changes may take place, China and Pakistan will forever remain good neighbors, good friends, good partners and good brothers.

The Pakistani leader called China his country’s best friend, and said the two nations have decided to take defense, economic and cultural ties to new heights.

The two countries are celebrating China-Pakistan Friendship Year, to mark the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties.

Both leaders also witnessed the signing of several agreements on finance and economic cooperation.

Chinese officials have said repeatedly that the visit was planned weeks ago.

But Andrew Small, a China expert at the U.S.-based German Marshall Fund, says the recent tensions between the United States and Pakistan following the death of Osama bin Laden give the Pakistani leader’s trip to China added significance.

“It is a chance for the Pakistanis to demonstrate to the world, to the United States and to some extent, for the government to demonstrate to its own public that if relations with the United States deteriorate too much, then they have some other diplomatic and economic options,” said Small.

This interpretation is rejected by Peking University International Studies Associate Professor Dong Wang, who says he thinks that for China, at least, the timing of the visit is purely coincidental.

“I think that is just American interpretation or reading might be that Pakistan wants to use this, to try to take this trip, as a way to show to the American side that Pakistan has some other options," said Wang. "But I just do not think that the Chinese will do the same thing because it is not in the calculation of the Chinese side, because it is more Pakistan’s calculation. But, the Chinese cannot say, “No, you [Pakistani PM] should not go because I do not want Americans to have that impression.”

Wang says despite the appearance that China and the United States are competing for Pakistan’s attention, the two large countries have similar concerns there.

“I would like to say that the bottom line is that the United States and China share an interest, share a very important interest, in Pakistan," said Wang. "We both want to have good relations with Pakistan, and also would like to see a stable Pakistan, and a Pakistan which is doing very effectively, in terms of countering terrorist threat.”

Two-way trade between China and Pakistan has grown sharply in recent years and is now more than $8.5-billion. Wang says he expects this number to continue growing, but he cites two serious problems, attacks against Chinese workers in Pakistan and the South Asian nation’s lack of economic development.

The Pakistani leader is due to meet Chinese President Hu Jintao before leaving Beijing on Friday.

You May Like

Malaysian PM Ends Vacation Over Floods

Najib Razak had been criticized for golfing in Hawaii with US president while country suffered More

Photogallery Fear Amid Remembrances for Tsunami Victims

Across continent, services and tributes acknowledge 220,000 victims of 2004 Indian Ocean disaster; region remains inadequately prepared, experts say More

Liberia Lawmaker Denies Election Manipulation

Alex Tyler said he’s being used as a scapegoat by people who are refusing to accept defeat in the December 20 special senatorial election More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Estimates Rising of Foreign Fighters in Iraq, Syriai
X
Jeff Seldin
December 24, 2014 11:38 PM
Foreign fighters are making more of a mark on the battles raging across Syria and Iraq than initially thought. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more.
Video

Video Estimates Rising of Foreign Fighters in Iraq, Syria

Foreign fighters are making more of a mark on the battles raging across Syria and Iraq than initially thought. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more.
Video

Video Russians Head Into Holiday Facing Economic Malaise

Russian preparations for the New Year holiday are clouded by economic recession and a tumbling currency, the ruble. Nonetheless, people in the Russian capital appear to be in a festive mood. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Mombasa in Holiday Tourism Slump Due to Security Fears

Kenya's usually popular beachside tourist destination of Mombasa is seeing a much slower holiday season this year due to fears of insecurity as the country has suffered from a string of terror attacks linked to Somali militants. Mohammed Yusuf reports for VOA on how businessmen and tourists feel about the situation.
Video

Video For Somalis, 2014 Marked by Political Instability Within Government

While Somalia has long been torn apart by warfare and violence, this year one of the country's biggest challenges has come from within the government, as political infighting curtails the country's progress, threatens security gains and disappoints the international community. VOA's Gabe Joselow report.
Video

Video US Political Shift Could Affect Iran Nuclear Talks

Secretary of State John Kerry’s efforts to resolve Iran’s nuclear crisis are continuing into 2015 after Iran and six world powers failed to agree by a November deadline. U.S. domestic politics, however, could complicate efforts to reach a deal in the new year. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video NYSE: The Icon of Capitalism

From its humble beginnings in 1792 to its status as an economic bellweather for the world, the New York Stock Exchange is an integral part of the story of America. VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from Wall Street.
Video

Video Islamic State Emergence Transforms Syria and Iraq in 2014

The emergence of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria as a potent force in early 2014 changed the dynamics of the region. Their brutal methods - including executions and forced slavery - horrified the international community, drawing Western forces into the conflict. It also splintered the war in Syria, where more than 200,000 Syrians have died in the conflict. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell looks back at a deadly year in the region -- and what 2015 may hold.
Video

Video Massive Study Provides Best Look at Greenland Ice Loss Yet

The Greenland ice sheet is melting faster than predicted, according to a new study released in the Proceedings of the National Academic of Sciences that combines NASA satellite data and aerial missions. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the finding means coastal communities worldwide could be at greater risk, sooner, from the impact of rising seas.
Video

Video US Marines, Toys for Tots Bring Christmas Joy

Christmas is a time for giving in the United States, especially to young children who look forward to getting presents. But some families don't have money to buy gifts. For nearly 70 years, a U.S. Marines-sponsored program has donated toys and distributed them to underprivileged children during the holiday season. VOA's Deborah Block tells us about the annual Toys for Tots program.
Video

Video France Rocked by Attacks as Fear of ISIS-Inspired Terror Grows

Eleven people were injured, two seriously, when a man drove his car into crowds of pedestrians Sunday night in the French city of Dijon, shouting ‘God is Great’ in Arabic. It’s the latest in a series of apparent ‘lone-wolf’ terror attacks in the West. Henry Ridgwell looks at the growing threat of attacks, which security experts say are likely inspired by the so-called "Islamic State" terror group.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid