A day after bitter criticism of Pakistan from President Donald Trump, China supported Pakistan by lauding its efforts for "outstanding contribution against terrorism" which should be acknowledged by "the international community".
At the regular press conference of the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, Geng Shuang, on Tuesday was asked: US President Donald Trump said on Monday that the US has been foolishly giving Pakistan more than US$33 billion in aid for counterterrorism over the past 15 years, and he vowed that this kind of treatment would end. Do you have a comment on this? China has heavily invested in Pakistan, so does China view US aid there as positive for stability and therefore Chinese interests?
"As we said multiple times before, Pakistan has made great efforts and sacrifices for combating terrorism and made prominent contributions to the cause of international counterterrorism, and the international community should fully recognize this," Shuang responded adding: "We welcome Pakistan and other countries' cooperation on counter-terrorism and in other fields on the basis of mutual respect and their joint commitment to the security and stability of the region and the world."
Shuang went on to say that China and Pakistan have maintained the all-weather strategic cooperative partnership. China stands ready to further deepen cooperation with Pakistan in various fields to bring greater benefits to the two peoples.
The News, a leading English newspaper of Pakistan, said Trump's uncalled-for criticism has sent shock waves amongst those who were encouraged by the trilateral meetings among Pakistan, Afghanistan and China where besides agreeing on other issues they also resolved to join hands to fight terror in the region.
This did not escape Geng Shuang who, when asked, whether Trump's accusations would harm trilateral efforts among Pakistan, China and Afghanistan remarked that the three are closely linked not only geographically but also in terms of common interests and it is natural for them to enhance communication and exchanges.
"As neighbors linked by rivers and mountains and shared common interests and cultural origins, it's natural and necessary for China, Afghan and Pakistan to conduct cooperation. We have reached many consensuses during the trilateral meeting in eight aspects. For example, the three parties agreed to further deepen coordination and cooperation in terms of fight against terrorism and indiscriminately crack down on terror groups and terrorists," he said.
Indian analysts argue that U.S is mounting pressure on Pakistan as Islamabad has firmed up an alliance with Beijing by allowing heavy Chinese investments in the strategic CPEC providing China access to the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean.
Meanwhile, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan telephoned on
Wednesday President Mamnoon Hussain and expressed solidarity with Pakistan in
the wake of Donald Trump's scathing statement against Pakistan.
Turkish president expressed his disappointment over the recent statements of the US leadership, saying Pakistan had rendered unprecedented sacrifices in war against terrorism.
President Mamnoon said Pakistan is a responsible country and would give an appropriate response to the US statements, adding that Pakistan believed in the policy of engagement and cooperation and regretted that such approach was not reciprocated.
Pakistan decides to review ties with Washington
Pakistan has decided to review its relations with the United States and adopt a tough stance, in the wake of President Donald Trump's recent statement, The Express Tribune reported Tuesday quoting informed sources.
Pakistan will highlight its sacrifices in the war against terrorism at the diplomatic front; and if the US reduces or suspends aid to Pakistan or places any sanctions, the country will completely revise its relations policy with the superpower, according to sources.
Pakistan, said the sources, would not accept any demands to do more, and could stop all kinds of cooperation with the US. The only response to any 'do more' demands will be 'no more'. The future policy with the US would be limited to 'cooperation for cooperation' and relations based on equality. "This policy will be adopted gradually," they added.
It is learnt that the foreign minister and other officials will contact friendly countries, including China, to take them into confidence. The high-ups are reviewing the recent statement by President Trump and the future relations with the US "which are turning from strained to tense".