It was a rich outpouring of praise and a reaffirmation of special ties, backed by $45 billion deals, that would have more than pleased his Pakistani hosts, but have created unease among India’s diplomatic-strategic establishment. During his maiden visit to Islamabad, China’s President Xi Jinping applauded Pakistan’s anti-terrorism efforts and underlined that the Chinese people will always stand together with Pakistan, Beijing’s all-weather ally.
In his speech before the Pakistani parliament, Mr Xi underlined in his speech that China and Pakistan will always move together, and the Chinese people will always stand together with Pakistanis. “We in China have a great admiration for the people of Pakistan,” Xi told Pakistani legislators. After his speech, aired live on state-run Pakistani TVs, Pakistan’s legislators, military leaders and foreign ambassadors gave a standing ovation to the president.
The Chinese president stressed that the relations between the two countries were based on mutual trust and a unique friendship.
The Chinese leader’s praise of Pakistan’s anti-terrorism efforts must have been created an unease in India, which has been relentlessly pressing Islamabad to prosecute Pakistani terrorists behind the Mumbai carnage. Xi underlined both the countries have common stakes in security and that Pakistan had contributed greatly to security and stability of China’s western border. “This is something that we should never forget,” he said.
Beijing’s endorsement was music to the ears of Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. “We will fight together to eliminate the menace of terrorism,” he said.
Xi began his maiden visit to Pakistan on April 20, a landmark trip that saw the two countries sign 51 deals in diverse areas. The big-ticket takeaway for Pakistan was clearly a raft of investment projects in infrastructure and power sector, unveiled by the Chinese leader, which are estimated to be worth $45 billion.
China is Pakistan’s top arms supplier, and with the recently concluded deal for supplying eight nuclear submarines, the two neighboring countries have taken their strategic relationship to another level. Additionally, China has also asked for Pakistan’s help in combating anti-Chinese Islamic separatists hiding in Pakistan’s tribal areas.
The outcomes of Xi Jinping’s visit have been closely scrutinized in India’s diplomatic-strategic circles. India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi can be expected to protest Beijing’s decision to supply nuclear submarines to Pakistan when he travels to China next month.
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