News / Asia

    Pakistani Officials Acknowledge Closer Ties with China

    During a year marked by increasing strain on the relationship between Pakistan and the United States, Pakistani officials publicly emphasized closer ties with China.

    China was one of the few nations that expressed public support for Pakistan when it was learned that the world’s most wanted man, Osama bin Laden, was living in a town some 120 kilometers from the Pakistani capital.

    Two weeks after the covert American raid that killed bin Laden, plunging U.S.-Pakistan relations to a new low, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani traveled to Beijing. At the time, many wondered whether Islamabad was turning to China as a replacement for its extensive military and diplomatic ties with Washington.

    Analysts like former foreign secretary Inam-ul Haq dismiss such speculation, saying that a politically as well as economically vulnerable Pakistan has to maintain and cultivate good relations with all major powers of the world. “Neither can Pakistan play one major power against the other. It would be futile and stupid to believe that we can do that and any effort at doing that would be shortsighted and totally counterproductive,” Haq explained.

    But Pakistan's relationship with China was not without its challenges. In late July, suspected Uighur separatists in China's troubled Xinjiang region killed more than 20 people in terrorist attacks.

    Pakistan-based radical Islamic groups were accused of training the predominantly Muslim Uighur rebels linked to the outlawed East Turkestan Islamic Movement or ETIM.

    Top political and military leaders of both countries vowed to fight terrorism together, and conducted joint counterterrorism exercises.  Pakistan’s army chief and top Chinese military officials pledged to cooperate.

    “Those elements of ETIM who are operating in the border area of Pakistan and Afghanistan even there we had a very close cooperation and we exchange intelligence. We have done the utmost to eliminate this threat of ETIM and other extremists for China,” said General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani, Pakistan Army Chief.

    “Joint counterterrorism training will help us to fight against the regional terrorist forces and deepen the cooperation for more peace and security in the region,” stated General Hou Shusen, China Deputy Chief of General Staff.

    These public expressions of solidarity stand in sharp contrast to Pakistan’s relationship with Washington, which was defined in the past year more by its public disagreements than statements of cooperation.

    Former Pakistani Senator Muhshahid Hussain is the chairman of Pakistan-China Institute, an independent think tank working for the promotion of bilateral ties. He says China’s longstanding support of the world’s only nuclear Islamic state, regardless of who has been in power in Islamabad, has led to a broad political consensus for close ties with Beijing.   

    “The issue of China is one amongst three issues in Pakistan on which there is a complete national consensus, the nuclear program, [the] Kashmir [dispute with India] and relations with China, all across the political divide,” Hussain said.

    Despite the widespread political support for China, skeptics say that to further strengthen their ties, Pakistan must first address its own deep economic, political, institutional and security crises, before it can develop a broader relationship with Beijing.

    You May Like

    Hope Remains for Rio Olympic Games

    Facing a host of problems, Rio prepares for holding the games but experts say some risks, like Zika, may not be as grave as initially thought

    IS Use of Social Media to Recruit, Radicalize Still a Top Threat to US

    Despite military gains against IS in Iraq and Syria, their internet propaganda still commands an audience; US officials see 'the most complex challenge that the federal government and industry face'

    ‘Time Is Now’ to Save Africa’s Animals From Poachers, Activist Says

    During Zimbabwe visit, African Wildlife Foundation President Kaddu Sebunya says poaching hurts Africa as slave trade once did

    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.
    Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolatei
    X
    July 29, 2016 4:02 PM
    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolate

    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Tesla Opens Battery-Producing Gigafactory

    Two years after starting to produce electric cars, U.S. car maker Tesla Motors has opened the first part of its huge battery manufacturing plant, which will eventually cover more than a square kilometer. Situated close to Reno, Nevada, the so-called Gigafactory will eventually produce more lithium-ion batteries than were made worldwide in 2013. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Polio-affected Afghan Student Fulfilling Her Dreams in America

    Afghanistan is one of only two countries in the world where children still get infected by polio. The other is Pakistan. Mahbooba Akhtarzada who is from Afghanistan, was disabled by polio, but has managed to overcome the obstacles caused by this crippling disease. VOA's Zheela Nasari caught up with Akhtarzada and brings us this report narrated by Bronwyn Benito.
    Video

    Video Hillary Clinton Promises to Build a 'Better Tomorrow'

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton urged voters Thursday not to give in to the politics of fear. She vowed to unite the country and move it forward if elected in November. Clinton formally accepted the Democratic Party's nomination at its national convention in Philadelphia. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more.
    Video

    Video Trump Tones Down Praise for Russia

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is toning down his compliments for Russia and Vladimir Putin as such rhetoric got him in trouble recently. After calling on Russia to find 30.000 missing emails from rival Hillary Clinton, Trump told reporters he doesn't know Putin and never called him a great leader, just one who's better than President Barack Obama. Putin has welcomed Trump's overtures, but, as Zlatica Hoke reports, ordinary Russians say they are not putting much faith in Trump.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora