Beijing: China on Wednesday said it will deepen
its anti-terrorism cooperation with Pakistan as it firmly
backed its "all weather ally" which is struggling to manage
its diplomatic row with the US following the killing of Osama
bin Laden by American forces in a covert operation on May 2.
"We are willing to strengthen cooperation with
Pakistan in areas such as joint training, information sharing
and logistical support in order to fight terrorism," Chinese
Defence Ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng told a media briefing
"Pakistan has made great contributions and sacrifices
in the global war against terrorism," the government-run
Xinhua news agency quoted him as saying.
Geng`s remarks came in the backdrop of Pakistan Prime
Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani`s recent visit to China during
which the Chinese leadership extended strong backing of
Islamabad amid revelations that Beijing had asked Washington
to respect the sovereignty of its "all weather" South Asian
While backing Pakistan, Chinese officials indicated
that their anti-terrorism cooperation will be confined mostly
to dealing with East Turkistan Movement, (ETM) as separatist
militant outfit active in the Muslim Uygur majority Xinjiang
province bordering Pakistan.
China seeks active assistance of Pakistan in curbing
the cross border movements of ETM cadre.
While China agreed to provide 50 JF-17 Thunder jets
for Pakistan Air Force on easy loan terms during Gilani’s
visit, Beijing denied any talks with Islamabad on building a
naval base at the strategic Gwadar deep sea port, which was
built with its technical and monetary assistance.
No such proposal figured during the visit of Gilani,
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Jiang Yu told a media
briefing yesterday when asked about reported remarks by
Pakistan Defence Minister Chaudhry Ahmad Mukhtar about the
"China Pakistan are friendly neighbours engaged in
extensive cooperation across the board. As for the cooperation
project you mentioned, I have not heard about it. Over the
years, China has provided assistance to Pakistan within its
capacity," she said.
"We hope this assistance will help Pakistan to improve
its livelihood and realise sustainable economic and social
development and we will continue to do so in the future," she
Mukhtar who accompanied Gilani during the just
concluded visit to China, had said that his country
appreciated that China has agreed to run the port, but would
be more grateful "if a naval base is constructed at the site
of Gwadar for Pakistan."