Saturday, 21 July, 2018

China Plans New Naval Base in Pakistan

Is China building a second overseas naval base in Pakistan Anti-terrorism efforts cannot involve finger-pointing, China says after US criticised Pakistan
Charlie Simmons | 10 January, 2018, 02:13

In what could be seen as a sign of increasing tension between the U.S. and Pakistan, US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley recently confirmed that its administration is all set to withhold USD255 million in aid to the south Asian nation. "Ultimately if they want to see stability in the region, and I think they do, they also will have an interest in seeing Pakistan crack down on the Haqqani and Taliban network", the senior administration official said.

He was responding to a question on a White House official's remarks that China could play helpful role in convincing Pakistan that it was in its national interest to crackdown on terror safe havens.

He reaffirmed Islamabad's sacrifices and contributions in the war against terrorism.

"Countries should strengthen anti-terrorism cooperation on the basis of mutual respect instead of finger pointing at each other".

Trump's January 1 Twitter attack against Pakistan where he accused it of providing safe havens to terrorists appears to be helping boost already close ties between Pakistan and China, a report in the state-run Global Times said.

The report also said that Islamabad has allowed Chinese currency in bilateral trade and financing transactions as China has stepped up its investments in the $50 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

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Significantly, the report quoted a Washington Times report that China is in talks with Pakistan to build its second overseas military base as part of a push for greater maritime capabilities along strategic sea routes.

The first phase of the strategically located Chabahar port was inaugurated in December by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

While defending Pakistan, Lu said China at the same time backed worldwide counter terrorism efforts. "It has made a prominent contribution to global anti-terror efforts, and the worldwide community should fully recognize this", said spokesperson Geng Shuang at a regular press briefing.

Pakistan further said it will continue to work with the worldwide community to ensure that internationally agreed standards on religious freedom are observed in the country and the broader region.

"China defends the countries that make anti-terrorism efforts in a just and fair way", he added. "China also welcomes all the global joint efforts in terms of counter terrorism on the basis of mutual trust and mutual respect", he said.

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