(TibetanReview.net, Feb07’22) – To reiterate and reaffirm their so-called all-weather friendship, China and Pakistan have expressed support for each other against their national and geopolitical rivals, which included Tibet and India, and for their Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) projects in Pakistan, meeting on the sidelines of the ongoing Beijing Winter Olympics.
In a joint statement released Feb 6 after a meeting between Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chinese President Xi Jinping, Khan expressed his country’s “commitment to One-China Policy and support for China on Taiwan, South China Sea, Hong Kong, Xinjiang and Tibet.”
Khan was in Beijing to attend the diplomatic boycott-hit Beijing winter Olympics and to seek financial assistance for his cash-starved government.
On its part, China pledged closer cooperation with Pakistan under the USD 60 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) BRI projects and called for resolving the Kashmir issue properly and peacefully while opposing any “unilateral actions” that could complicate the situation, obviously blaming India for the current turbulent situation there.
Their joint statement said: “The Pakistan side briefed the Chinese side on the latest developments on the situation in Jammu & Kashmir, including its concerns, position and pressing issues at the moment. The Chinese side reiterated that the Kashmir issue was a dispute left from history, and should be properly and peacefully resolved based on the UN Charter, relevant Security Council resolutions and bilateral agreements. China opposes any unilateral actions that complicate the situation.”
Also, China’s official Xinhua news agency Feb 6 cited Xi as saying Beijing firmly supported Pakistan in safeguarding national independence, sovereignty, dignity and fighting terrorism.
India has in the past strongly rejected references made to Jammu and Kashmir in a previous joint statement by Pakistan and China and asserted that the union territory as well as Ladakh have been and will remain its integral and inalienable part, noted the PTI news agency Feb 7.
India is also opposed to the CPEC project because it includes areas of its territory under Pakistani occupation. In Jul 2021, India’s External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi objected to reference made to the “so-called China-Pakistan Economic Corridor” in a statement by these two countries, saying it is in Indian territory that has been illegally occupied by Pakistan.
“As in the past, India categorically rejects any reference to Jammu and Kashmir. The union territory of Jammu and Kashmir and the union territory of Ladakh has been and will remain an integral and inalienable part of India,” Mr Bagchi had said.
He was also quoted as saying: “We resolutely oppose any attempts by other countries to change the status quo in areas illegally occupied by Pakistan as also to Pakistan bringing up any material change in Indian territories under its illegal occupation. We call upon parties concerned to cease such actions.”
While India accuses Pakistan of running terrorist training camps in its territory and pushing trained terrorists into Kashmir, the China-Pakistan joint statement of Feb 6 also said that China recognised Pakistan’s sacrifices and efforts in the fight against terrorism, adding that both sides reaffirmed their commitment to fighting terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.
It also said, “both sides agreed to continue the momentum in defence cooperation at various levels between the armed forces of Pakistan and China”.