Changes in global and regional situation not to affect friendship between China and Pakistan: Chinese President Xi Jinping

Beijing: Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday assured Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan that the friendship between China and Pakistan is “unbreakable and rock-solid” despite changes in the international and regional situation.

Xi made the remarks when he met Khan at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse, two days before he leaves for India to hold the second informal summit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Xi said China is ready to work with Pakistan to forge a closer China-Pakistan community of shared future in the new era, state-run Xinhua news agency quoted him as saying.

Noting that China and Pakistan are all-weather strategic cooperative partners, Xi said, “No matter how the international and regional situation changes, the friendship between China and Pakistan has always been unbreakable and rock-solid, and China-Pakistan cooperation has always maintained strong vitality.”

Khan’s visit to China, third since he took over as prime minister in August last year, acquires significance as it comes ahead of President Xi’s high-profile visit to India for the second informal summit with Prime Minister Modi at Mahabalipuram near Chennai on October 11 and 12.

Khan’s visit to Beijing comes at a time when tensions have spiked between Pakistan and India after New Delhi ended the special status of Jammu and Kashmir on August 5.

Beijing, the all-weather ally of Islamabad, has backed Pakistan over the Kashmir issue, with its Foreign Minister Wang Yi in his address to the UN General Assembly saying, “no actions that would unilaterally change the status quo should be taken”.

However, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang on Tuesday said the Kashmir issue should be resolved between New Delhi and Islamabad, significantly omitting its recent references to the UN and UN Security Council resolutions.