"China values the all-weather strategic cooperative partnership between the two countries,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said. ‘Pleased with the active interactions’ between Delhi and Islamabad, says Beijing

China on Monday said it was ‘pleased’ with “recent positive interactions” between India and Pakistan and was ‘ready to work with Pakistan to inject positive energy’ into promoting regional peace in South Asia.

The comments from Beijing came in response to Pakistan President Arif Alvi last week describing China as the country’s ‘closest’ friend, and in the wake of recent developments on the India-Pakistan front following the ceasefire agreement.

“China cherishes its all-weather strategic partnership of cooperation with Pakistan,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said. “We are ready to take the 70th anniversary of our diplomatic ties as an opportunity to work together in the fight against COVID-19, carry forward our traditional friendship, deepen all-round cooperation, and build an even closer China-Pakistan community with a shared future for the new era.”

Mr. Zhao noted that President Alvi “stressed in his speech that Pakistan will focus on development, and remain committed to peaceful coexistence with the outside world” and “called on world leaders, especially South Asian leaders, to discard hatred, prejudice and religious extremism, and jointly safeguard regional peace and prosperity”.

China, he said, “supports Pakistan’s foreign policy of peace and good-neighbourliness as well as its commitment to advancing the peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan”. “China is pleased with Pakistan’s recent positive interactions with India,” he said. “We are ready to work with Pakistan, and continue to inject positive energy into regional peace, stability and development.”

In a telephone call last week, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi sought continued Chinese support in supplying vaccines for Pakistan. His counterpart Wang Yi said China would “continue to prioritise China’s vaccine assistance and export” for the country.

“The friendship between China and Pakistan has stood the test of time, and the two countries carry forward the good tradition of helping each other in times of difficulty,” Mr. Wang said, adding that “to demonstrate the ironclad friendship between the two countries, China has decided to provide Pakistan with another batch of vaccines”.