News / Asia

China's Premier Promises Deeper Ties with Pakistan

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (L) and Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari (R) leave after a signing of agreements ceremony at the presidential palace in Islamabad on May 22, 2013.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (L) and Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari (R) leave after a signing of agreements ceremony at the presidential palace in Islamabad on May 22, 2013.
Ayaz Gul
— China’s Prime Minister Li Keqiang says his country is committed to consolidate its “traditional friendship” with Pakistan and strengthen strategic cooperation. The Chinese leader spoke Wednesday in Islamabad after a visit to India.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang landed in Islamabad under tight security and his plane was escorted by fighter jets as soon as it entered Pakistani air space.

Authorities suspended mobile phone networks across the capital city for several hours and deployed security forces at key locations to discourage any subversive acts. The unprecedented security arrangements follow a rise in violence blamed on Islamist militants.

  • A soldier walks near a bus as he helps to secure the area and clear the roads before the motorcade of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang passes by in Islamabad May 22, 2013.
  • People sit on top of a bus as they go past flags of Pakistan and China that are displayed along a road, ahead of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang's visit to Islamabad.
  • A man walks next to huge portraits of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, right, and Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari, left, displayed near the presidency in Islamabad, Pakistan.
  • A police officer stands guard next to billboards welcoming Chinese premier Li Keqiang hung on poles near the presidency in Islamabad, Pakistan.
  • A soldier speaks to a man as he secures the area and clears the roads before the motorcade of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.
  • A military helicopter flies overhead as police officers and soldiers secure the area before the motorcade of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang passes through Islamabad.

The Chinese leader later addressed a ceremony hosted by President Asif Ali Zardari at the presidential office where Prime Minister-elect Nawaz Sharif and the country’s military leadership were also present.

Premier Li praised the decades old friendship between China and Pakistan as “an invaluable asset” and emphasized the need for further strengthening “strategic cooperation in all areas.” He added that the bilateral relationship “stands out as an excellent example” for ties between countries of different social systems.

“That I have come to Pakistan in my first overseas visit as a Chinese premier is intended to show the international community that China is committed to consolidating its traditional friendship with Pakistan and deepening the strategic cooperation between the two countries," said Li. "I am convinced that no matter how the international situation may evolve China and Pakistan should always remain each other’s trustworthy partner and reliable brother.”

Pakistan and China have developed closer ties in recent years at a time of strained diplomatic relations between Islamabad and the United States. U.S. officials often question Pakistan’s commitment to fighting Islamic militancy on its soil, blaming these extremists for fueling the Taliban insurgency across the border in Afghanistan.

Premier Li is visiting Islamabad nearly two weeks after Pakistan held its national elections. Mr. Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League scored a resounding victory in the polls and he is due to become Prime Minister for a third time.

Senator Mushahid Hussain, who chairs the Defense Committee of the upper house of the Pakistani parliament, told VOA change in the leadership in Pakistan has never come in the way of relations with China.

“China is one issue on which there is a complete national consensus in Pakistan irrespective of the parties whether it is liberal, left-wing, right-wing or clerical parties, they all agree that the relationship with China is the cornerstone of Pakistan’s foreign policy," he said. 'So, I expect that Pakistan-China relations under Mr. Nawaz Sharif’s government would be as strong as robust as they were in the previous regimes.”

China is Pakistan’s biggest arms supplier and provides it with financial assistance as well as much needed foreign investment. More than 120 Chinese companies are doing business in Pakistan and some 14,000 Chinese workers as well as engineers are working on different projects in the country. Bilateral annual trade rose to $12 billion in 2012 and both sides aim to take it to $15 billion within next three years. Beijing has also helped Islamabad establish three nuclear power plants while a fourth one is in the pipeline.

Participants attend the opening ceremony of the Gwadar deep-sea port on the Arabian Sea, west of Karachi, March 20, 2007Participants attend the opening ceremony of the Gwadar deep-sea port on the Arabian Sea, west of Karachi, March 20, 2007
x
Participants attend the opening ceremony of the Gwadar deep-sea port on the Arabian Sea, west of Karachi, March 20, 2007
Participants attend the opening ceremony of the Gwadar deep-sea port on the Arabian Sea, west of Karachi, March 20, 2007
Earlier this year, China took control of Pakistan’s under construction deep-water Gwadar seaport that analysts say could serve as a vital economic hub for Beijing and a potential Arabian Sea naval base.

During Premier Li’s stay in Pakistan, the two countries are expected to sign agreements related to energy, technology and space.

Pakistani officials dismiss suggestions that a low-intensity rebellion led by Uighur militants in China’s far western Xinjiang region, which also borders Pakistan, has strained bilateral ties. Islamabad insists it is closely cooperating with Beijing to crush the insurgency and has killed or handed over several fugitive militants to Chinese authorities who had taken refuge in Pakistani border areas.

You May Like

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: dixon from: Shanghai China
May 22, 2013 6:41 AM
India seems always look China as rival, Chinese should make effort to eliminate the misunderstand, the two countries should be friends, we have enough space to develope our economy.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Agei
X
Elizabeth Lee
July 20, 2014 2:36 AM
Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.
Video

Video Diplomatic Crisis Grows Over MH17 Plane Crash

The Malaysia Airlines crash in eastern Ukraine is drawing reaction from leaders around the world. With suspicions growing that a surface-to-air missile shot down the aircraft, there are increasing tensions in the international community over who is to blame. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Undocumented Immigrants Face Perilous Journey to US, No Guarantees

Every day, hundreds of undocumented immigrants from Central America attempt the arduous journey through Mexico and turn themselves over to U.S. border patrol -- with the hope that they will not be turned away. But the dangers they face along the way are many, and as Ramon Taylor reports from the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, their fate rests on more than just the reception they get at the US border.
Video

Video Scientists Create Blackest Material Ever

Of all the black things in the universe only the infamous "black holes" are so black that not even a tiny amount of light can bounce back. But scientists have managed to create material almost as black, and it has enormous potential use. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Fog Collector Transforming Maasai Water Harvesting in Kenya

The Maasai people of Kenya are known for their cattle-herding, nomadic lifestyle. But it's an existence that depends on access to adequate water for their herds and flocks. Lenny Ruvaga reports for VOA, on a "fog collector."

AppleAndroid