Tag Archives: Wen Jiabao

China issues an ultimatum as tensions grow with US

China on Thursday [19th] said the international community “must respect” Pakistan’s sovereignty, tacitly confirming reports that it has asked the US not to violate Islamabad’s territorial integrity, following the killing of Osama bin Laden.

… Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Jiang Yu told media here that “sovereignty and territorial integrity of Pakistan must be respected.”

More alarmingly, the same article claims that the Chinese have issued an almost unprecedented ultimatum during the previous week’s China-US strategic dialogue:

China has “warned in unequivocal terms that any attack on Pakistan would be construed as an attack on China”, The News daily quoted diplomatic sources as saying.

The warning was formally conveyed by the Chinese foreign minister at last week’s China-US strategic dialogue and economic talks in Washington, it said.   1

Click here to read the full article.

News of the Chinese ultimatum came during the visit of Pakistani Prime Minister Gilani to Beijing:

Gilani arrived in Shanghai on Tuesday evening [17th], the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

Although Gilani’s four-day visit was planned well in advance, it comes at a critical time for his country’s relations with the U.S., which have been thrown into crisis over the American raid that killed bin Laden in the northern Pakistani city of Abbottabad on May 2. Pakistan has called it a violation of its sovereignty and threatened to retaliate if there are any similar operations in the future.2

The Chinese government also used the visit to announce the immediate transfer of 50 new fighter jets to Pakistan:

During his visit, Mr. Gilani met with Premier Wen Jiabao of China, who bolstered Pakistan by saying the United States should respect Pakistan’s sovereignty.

The news about the JF-17 aircraft is clearly a signal that Pakistan is shopping for alternatives to Washington, though the value of the deal may be more symbolic than decisive in terms of Pakistan’s military capacity.3

“China is the only country that has taken a sympathetic stand for Pakistan after the bin Laden operation,” Talat Masood, a political analyst and retired Pakistani general, told AFP in another article:

Many in Pakistan, outraged by the unilateral US raid, are increasingly convinced that their nation’s strategic alliance with the United States since 2001 has been less than positive and has only made the country less stable.

It could therefore be tempting for the nuclear-armed Islamic republic to move away from the United States and get closer to faithful ally Beijing, analysts say.

“If US and Indian pressure continues, Pakistan can say ‘China is behind us. Don’t think we are isolated, we have a potential superpower with us’,” Masood said.4

1 From an article entitled “China asks US to respect Pak’s sovereignty, independence” published on May 20th by The Economic Times. articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2011-05-20/news/29565072_1_pakistan-s-ambassador-pakistan-china-pakistan-media

2 From article entitled “Pakistan’s PM Gilani Visits Beijing” published on May 17th by Time www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2072181,00.html

3 From an article entitled “China Gives Pakistan 50 Fighter Jets” by Jane Perlez, published in The New York Times on May 19th. www.nytimes.com/2011/05/20/world/asia/20pakistan.html?_r=4

4 From an article entitled “China-Pakistan alliance strengthened post bin Laden” by Mohideen Mifthah published on May 19th by The Sunday Times in Sri Lanka. www.sundaytimes.lk/index.php/analysis/7546-china-pakistan-alliance-strengthened-post-bin-laden

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