External forces trying to subvert Pakistan-China ties: Pakistani Foreign Minister
It is as if a switch has been on.
While President Musharraf was in Beijing discussing deals on a new shipyard for Gwador, rail links between Gwador and Beijing, new nuclear plants, fiber optic links, a new Gulf-Pakistan-China pipeline, all major media outlets in the USA were running stories about the so called “training camps” in Afghanistan who are trying to create trouble for China in Xinjiang. Some news outlets also blamed Pakistan. Obvioulsy the stories had little impact on the Pakistani-Chinese relationship and the Chinese foreign Minister and a new purchasing team will be visiting Pakistan.
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FM says external forces trying to subvert China ties By Baqir Sajjad SyedISLAMABAD, April 17: Pakistan on Thursday said that some external forces were trying to weaken China-Pakistan relations and vowed such attempts would not be allowed to succeed.
“Detractors want to create misunderstandings to weaken our strategic relations with China,” Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said at a weekly Foreign Office briefing.
He did not specify the forces out to damage what he described as “time-tested and an all-weather friendship”, but said these external forces would not be allowed to affect the strategic cooperation between the two countries.
He said China had been a consistent supporter of Pakistan’s stability and development and the relationship was important for regional stability.
Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi will visit Islamabad on April 25 as a follow-up to President Pervez Musharraf’s visit to China.
The Pakistani delegation, during meetings with President Hu Jintao, Prime Minister Wen Jiabao and other senior Chinese leaders, reviewed bilateral relations and discussed political developments in Pakistan after the Feb 18 elections.
“They were fully supportive of the new democratic government,” Mr Qureshi said, adding that the new government had succeeded in getting an immediate relief of $500 million in the shape of balance of payment support from China.
“They have agreed to deposit $500 million immediately in the State Bank of Pakistan,” he said, adding that it would be a concessional loan.
Mr Qureshi said the two countries also considered proposals for cooperation in the energy sector, upgradation and modernisation of Heavy Mechanical Complex in Taxila, promotion of bilateral trade and finalisation of free trade agreement in the services sector, development of financial institutions, investment in Pakistan’s agro-based industry and livestock and increase in overland trade.
Finalisation of the Trade in Transit Agreement between China and Pakistan was also discussed. Under the deal, China will be able to use the Karakoram Highway and ports of Gwadar and Karachi for transporting its goods to the Middle East, Africa and Afghanistan.
It was suggested that Pakistan should be used as a logistic and transportation base for Chinese investment in Afghanistan’s copper and iron-ore mining.
Development of a shipyard at Gwadar, establishment of a railway link between Gwadar and China, preparation of a five-year joint economic and trade development plan and availability of commercial credits for projects under the plan, setting up of a Pakistan-China investment company, laying of optic fibre between the two countries and inclusion of China in gas and oil pipeline projects were also discussed, the foreign minister said.
He said the Chinese leadership was increasingly interested in the gas pipeline project.
Mr Qureshi said that a consortium of 516 Chinese universities, which would also be joined by famous Tsinghua University, had agreed to help Pakistan in setting up an engineering and technology university in Islamabad.