Pakistan ‘irreplaceable all-weather’ friend: China
COAS meets Chinese leadership; Chairman People’s Conference Yu Zhengsheng says Pakistan always stood by China as its most reliable partner and Beijing will help Pakistan in all respects; Politburo member Meng Jianzhu says Pakistan’s concern is China’s concern; Gen Raheel Sharif meets top Chinese leaders, says world must understand ‘the evolving environment’
By our correspondents
January 27, 2015
BEIJING: Calling Pakistan an irreplaceable all-weather friend, China on Monday pledged full support to it amid the second high-profile visit of US President Barack Obama to India. The comments came as Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and other leaders met the visiting Pakistan Army Chief General Raheel Sharif. According to the Pakistan Army spokesman Major General Asim Bajwa, during the meeting Yi told Gen Raheel Sharif: “Pakistan is China’s irreplaceable all-weather friend and both countries are part of a community of shared destiny.” Sharif, who is here on a two-day visit, also met Chairman of the People’s Conference Yu Zhengsheng and senior leader Meng Jianzhu. Meng, member Politburo — the second highest council in the Communist Party — assured General Raheel Sharif that China had a consistent policy on Pakistan that was beyond individuals, adding that Pakistan’s concern was China’s concern. “Mr Meng Member Politburo to #COAS: On #Pak, #China has consistent policy beyond individuals. Pak concern is China’s concern,” Gen. Bajwa, Director General Inter-Services Public Relations, tweeted. Zhengsheng said Pakistan had always stood by China and termed it “the most reliable partner.” The Chinese government and the people will help Pakistan in all respects, he said. Sharif thanked the Chinese leaders for inviting him, saying the world must understand the evolving environment. “Greater international focus, coordination is needed to end the fight against terrorism,” he said. Sharif met his Chinese counterpart Gen Qi Jianguo at the People’s Liberation Army Headquarters on Sunday and held talks with him. The two agreed to enhance long-term defence collaboration and strengthen security and counter-terrorism cooperation and intelligence sharing and training exchanges. Raheel also called on General Fan Changlong, Vice Chairman of China’s Central Military Commission, and briefed him on the crackdown on
terrorists in Pakistan. Expressing solidarity with the people and the armed forces of Pakistan, Gen Fan praised the success of Operation Zarb-e-Azb and termed it “decisive, bold and a hard blow to the terrorists”.