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

African States Push to Keep Boko Haram Offline

Central African telecoms ministers working with Nigeria to block all videos posted by Boko Haram in effort to blunt Nigerian militant group's propaganda More

Falling Oil Prices, Internet-Savvy Youth Pose Challenge for Gulf Monarchies

Across the Gulf, younger generations are putting a strain on traditional politics More

Philippines Call Center Workers Face Challenges

Country has world’s largest business process outsourcing, or BPO, industry, employing some one-million workers 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.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

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