Pakistan, China agree to continue close consultations for Afghan peace
BEIJING: China has again reaffirmed its continuing support to Pakistan and vowed to further strengthen strategic friendship with it.
This was assured by Chinese Foreign Minister, Wang Yi while talking to Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua in Beijing, reported Radio Pakistan.
The Chinese foreign minister lauded Pakistan’s great sacrifices made in fight against terrorism and urged international community to fully recognize these efforts.
The foreign secretary, underlining the importance of Pakistan-China friendship, reiterated Pakistan’s support to China on all issues of its core interest.
Both sides also agreed to continue close consultations on efforts for lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan and underscored the importance of the Trilateral Afghanistan-China-Pakistan Foreign Minister’s meeting.
They also discussed the entire gambit of bilateral relations, regional, global issues, as well as the situation in Indian Occupied Kashmir.
After President Trump accused Islamabad of harbouring militants, China defended Pakistan’s “important role” in Afghanistan.
Trump, in unveiling his Afghanistan strategy this week, said Pakistan was playing a double game by accepting American aid while giving safe haven to insurgents who kill Afghan and NATO troops.
But China State Councillor Yang Jiechi in a phone call with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson defended Pakistan, saying that “we should attach importance to the important role that Pakistan plays in the Afghanistan issue, respect (Pakistan’s) sovereignty and legitimate security concerns.”
It is the second time Beijing has defended its South Asian neighbour this week, with foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying praising Pakistan for making “great sacrifices and contributions to fighting terrorism”.
Beijing is investing around $50 billion in Pakistan as part of a plan unveiled in 2015 to link its far-western Xinjiang region to the Pakistani port of Gwadar in Balochistan province.
Yang said Beijing was committed to “advancing the peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan” and that political dialogue was “the only way to solve the Afghanistan problem”.
He added that “China would like to continue to maintain communication and coordination on the Afghanistan problem with the US side”.