China, Pakistan friendship remains same

BEIJING: China on Thursday offered congratulations on 69th anniversary of the establishment of the diplomatic relations with Pakistan, with the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s spokesperson saying the iron-clad friendship between the two countries stood the test of changing international landscape and remained firm as a rock.

“Today marks the 69th anniversary of China-Pakistan diplomatic relations. I offer congratulations,” Chinese Foreign Ministry’s Spokesperson Zhao Lijian said, while responding to a question from APP during his regular briefing.

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Zhao had also served in the Chinese Embassy in Islamabad as deputy head of mission before his posting as the ministry spokesperson. During his tenure in Islamabad, he played a key role in further developing relations between Pakistan and China.

“I had the pleasure of working in Pakistan. Before leaving the country, I said that Pakistan stole my heart.” the spokesperson said. “I believe it shows the deep-rooted friendship between our two countries,” he added.

In the past 69 years, the relationship between the two countries had stood the test of changing international landscape and had remained firm as a rock, he said. “In the recent years, we had high level development of financial relations with enhancing political mutual trust and smooth and fruitful progress in China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and other areas in the face of Covid-19,” he continued.

“We are still together and helped each other out following our fine tradition of mutual assistance in times of difficulties and our iron-clad friendship is further elevated in the joint fight,” he said, adding that the Chinese side had every confidence in the development of bilateral relations in the future.

Zhao said that China would continue to put Pakistan as a priority in its neighborhood diplomacy and work together for high quality CPEC development. “We will maintain in close coordination and communication in major international and regional affairs and turn this relationship into a model of building a community of shared future for mankind and bring benefits for our two people.”

US allegations rejected

At the briefing, the spokesperson rejected allegations of using aggression on border with India to shift status quo. Zhao said that Chinese troops firmly safeguarded the territorial sovereignty and security of the country besides firmly dealing with India’s crossover and infringement activities.

“The diplomat’s remarks are just nonsense,” he said in response to a senior US diplomat’s allegation that Beijing used aggression on China-India border. “China’s position on China-India boundary issue is consistent and clear,” Zhao added.

“Our troops firmly safeguard the peace and stability in the border region. We urge the Indian side to work together with us, abide by our leadership’s important consensus, comply with the agreements signed and refrain from unilateral actions complicating the situation.”

He added that there were consultations through the diplomatic channels between the two countries and added that these consultations had nothing to do with the US side. He hoped the Indian side would make concrete efforts toward peace and tranquility in the border region.

Indian and Chinese troops have engaged in low-level clashes on their sprawling border, including a recent standoff at the Nathu La Pass, which connects the Indian state of Sikkim and China’s Tibet. China claims about 90,000 square kilometres of territory under India’s control.