Enduring Pak-China relations
Post Osama relations:
During Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani’s visit to China, there have been speculations that he undertook this ‘emergency’ trip in the aftermath of Osama bin Laden’s killing in Abbottabad by US forces. Nothing could be further from the truth. During the visit, the Chinese leadership assured Pakistan of their full support in its hour of need. Prime Minister Wen Jiabao informed Pakistan that China had urged the US to respect Pakistan’s sovereignty. In addition to agreements on banking, technical and economic cooperation, China agreed to expedite the delivery of 50 J-17F Thunder fighter jets to Pakistan. This has provoked some American Congressmen to interpret it as Pakistan’s leaning on China to countervail pressure from Washington. Contrary to speculations, this visit was not prompted by the Abbottabad incident. It was planned much before and was part of the ongoing Pak-China strategic relations. Also, 2011 marks the 60th anniversary of the Pak-China relationship and has been designated as the year of friendship between the two countries, which was reflected in the celebrations and extraordinarily warm welcome extended to Pakistan’s prime minister in China. Therefore, to suggest that the visit was organised on the spur of the moment is misleading.
Pakistan and China have a longstanding relationship, especially since 1962, when China and India went to war over a disputed border. The Chinese have been steadfast friends and have supported Pakistan through thick and thin. China’s interest lies in a stable and prosperous Pakistan. They have been very generous in sharing their development and progress in the economic and technical fields and have aided Pakistan in every possible manner. Therefore, the visit of Prime Minister Gilani should not be considered as reactive. Pakistan is a sovereign country (despite challenges) and has the right to choose its friends and explore options for positive relationships other...
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