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

    Mother of IS Supporter: Son Was Peaceful, 'Role Model'

    Somali-American Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State militants

    Factions Shift as Civilians Die in Syrian War

    Scenario likely only to further confuse military situation on ground and potentially worsen humanitarian crisis that already has grown to epic proportions

    Presidential Hopefuls Woo Minorities, Evangelicals

    Four GOP candidates to speak at forum at Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina

    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.
    Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortagei
    X
    February 12, 2016 7:31 PM
    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.