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China Praises Pakistan's 'Tough Stand' on Terror - 2001-10-01

China's president is praising what he calls Pakistan's tough stand against terrorism, and is offering emergency financial aid to Pakistan. China reiterated its qualified support for a U.S. led counter-terrorism operation.

Chinese President Jiang Zemin telephoned his Pakistani counterpart, Pervez Musharraf, Sunday night to discuss the international fight against terrorism and cooperation between the two neighboring countries.

China's official Xinhua news agency says President Jiang "spoke highly" of President Musharraf's stand, and offered more than $1 million in emergency aid to Pakistan.

Pakistan has been cooperating closely with Washington in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks on the United States.

President Jiang says China will also support U.S.-led operations against terrorists, if there is sufficient proof of guilt and they comply with international law.

Counter-terrorism planning is currently focusing on Afghanistan, where the ruling Taleban movement is sheltering Osama bin Laden, who is Washington's prime suspect in the terrorist strikes in New York and against the Pentagon.

President Jiang described terrorism as a "common scourge" for the international community and offered to "join hands" with Pakistan and other nations to root it out.

Xinhua quotes President Musharraf saying his stand against terrorism has the support of a majority of the people in his nation.

China and Pakistan have been allies for many years, and their relationship is so close that Washington has accused Beijing of supplying Pakistan with nuclear and missile technology. But Islamabad's recent cooperation with the United States could be viewed by Beijing as an intrusion into its strategic sphere of influence.