ISLAMABAD - Pakistan has proven its iron-clad friendship with China by standing with the all-weather friend amid Beijing’s tensions with Washington on the Taiwan issue.
The China-US tension worsened after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who is second in line to the Oval Office after the US vice-president, visited Taiwan and reaffirmed her country’s unwavering commitment to supporting Taiwan’s ‘democracy.’
Pelosi’s visit infuriated China as Beijing believes it was a violation of the ‘One-China’ policy, however, the US claims this trip in no way contradicted long-standing US policy on the self-governed island.
Pakistan, which is trying to improve ties with the US, came out to stand with China on the ‘One China’ issue. This was significant when Islamabad awaits release of funds by the International Monetary Fund as part of a bailout package amid dwindling economy.
In a quick response, Pakistan’s foreign office said: “Pakistan is deeply concerned over the evolving situation in the Taiwan Strait, which has serious implications for regional peace and stability.”
It added that the country stands by ‘One-China’ policy and has a strong commitment to it. Citing the situation in Eastern Europe and its fallouts, Pakistan Foreign Office said that the world is already witnessing a security situation and destabilising implications for international food and energy security.
“The world cannot afford another crisis that has negative consequences for global peace, security and economy,” the FO maintained.
The ‘One-China’ policy is the diplomatic acknowledgement of China’s position that there is only one Chinese government. Under the policy, the US recognises and has formal ties with China rather than the island of Taiwan, which China sees as a breakaway province to be reunified with the mainland one day.
China said that Pelosi’s Taiwan visit was a serious violation of the One-China principle and the provisions of the joint communiqué signed between the two countries. It had also announced live firing as part of its military operations near Taiwan in response to Pelosi’s visit.
House Speaker Pelosi issued a statement in which she described her high-stakes trip to Taipei as a “strong statement that America stands with Taiwan.”
Pakistan’s unwavering support won China’s praise. In various statements, Chinese officials said that Pakistan and China were close friends who were committed to regional progress. International Affairs expert Dr Rizwan Naseer said Pakistan and China have been enjoying friendly relations for the last many decades. He said China has adopted the policy of ‘Sharing prosperity with the rest of the world.’ He said China wanted to extend its economic policies across the globe. “China is eager to support Pakistan in pursuing its development model appropriate for the circumstances on the ground because the two countries are all-weather friends,” he added.
Last week, Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Nong Rong said China stands by Pakistan in these difficult times as the two countries were strategic allies which stood by each other in the face of all challenges.
“China is eager to support Pakistan in pursuing its development model appropriate for the circumstances on the ground because the two countries are all-weather friends,” he remarked at an event.