Sino-Pak ties: Kayani sets off on a five-day trip to China

Published: January 5, 2012

Army chief, Chinese leadership to discuss Nov 26 NATO attack, Pakistan’s terms of engagement with US. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

ISLAMABAD: 

Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani embarked on a five-day official trip to China on Wednesday, amidst strained ties between Pakistan and the United States.

Kayani’s visit, at the invitation of the Chinese leadership, is the first in recent years.

The army chief will call on the political and military leadership of China during his visit, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a brief statement.

His interactions will “encompass the complete range of Pakistan-China relations related to security and defence,” the statement added, without giving details.

A military official told The Express Tribune that the general is expected to meet the Chinese president and prime minister, besides other top security officials.

His discussions will certainly focus on current developments, including the ongoing tensions between Pakistan and the US following the November 26 Nato airstrikes on Pakistani check posts, which killed 24 troops.

General Kayani will brief the Chinese leadership about a review by Pakistan to rewrite terms of engagement with the US, the official added.

His visit is also being seen as an attempt by Islamabad to reach out to regional players such as China, Russia and other neighbouring countries to offset any negative fallout in ties with Washington.

“We want to take our relationship with China to the next level,” a security official said.

He added that Kayani will also discuss with the Chinese leadership cooperation in counter-terrorism measures.

Security cooperation

China has privately voiced concerns that Muslim separatists operating in the Northern Xinjiang and Kashger provinces are being trained by al Qaeda and the Taliban in the tribal areas of Pakistan.

Last year, Director General of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Lt General Ahmed Shuja Pasha dashed to Beijing to assure China that Pakistan was committed to dismantling such training camps.

For the first time, the two countries recently held brigade-level counter-terrorism exercises to bolster security and intelligence cooperation.

In recent years, China, the largest supplier of military equipment to Pakistan, has provided Pakistan frigates, combat jets and other gear at subsidised prices or against soft loans.

Kayani’s visit is part of a series of high-level exchanges between the two countries in recent years. Last month, Chinese vice premier and State Councilor Dai Bingguo toured Islamabad to reassure Pakistan his country’s ‘unflinching support.’

Published in The Express Tribune, January 5th, 2012.

Reader Comments (13)

  • khan
    Jan 5, 2012 - 11:08AM

    basically going to figure out where to spend the money we received from American taxpayers.. its that simple. Why use words like “Taking relationship to next level”. China has found a market of 180 million people where it can sell anything it wants at any cost and control all national assets from military, telecom, roads, railways, mines, ports, cars, power, and even financial sectors !! We have killed our industries with our own hand by selling our country to them after signing FTA when we have absolutely nothing that the chinese imports.

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  • International Spectator
    Jan 5, 2012 - 11:54AM

    In no other country a military chief on visits abroad meets the President or PM of that country. This happens only in Pak, and shows that China considers Kayani to be equal to a president.
    From china, state councillers visit Pakistan. in returnm president/PM/COASreturn the visits. Some equality?

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  • Jan 5, 2012 - 12:09PM

    Bye bye US.

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  • Jan 5, 2012 - 1:05PM

    Vienna,January 5,2012
    Apparently the visit is approved by the political leadership at
    least the Defense Minister level.Otherwise it is transgression
    again, this time as usual by the military.Watch out who is
    stepping on the other´s shoes.Transparency and accountability
    are important. I sure Pakistan Embassy is in the know.
    Taravadu Taranga Trust for Media Monitoring TTTMM India
    –Kulamarva Balakrishna

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  • SafeNation
    Jan 5, 2012 - 8:45PM

    In essence, China has multiplied its military capability – making Pakistani army and assets, an extension of the Chinese military apparatus. China, from here on, will have complete command and control on all aspects of Pakistan’s economy and her nuclear assets.

    Amid US and European economic woes, in Pakistan, China has found a new and willing dumping ground for their cheap goods and services. In return, Pakistan is ready to do the bidding of the new master – China.

    If USA is the enemy, wait until China becomes Pakistan’s biggest nightmare.

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  • Ancient people--- I am time
    Jan 6, 2012 - 12:18AM

    With no common civilization, culture, language, religion——–one of the oldest countries and one the youngest countries——–one based on communism. one on religion——-

    They can come together for one reason ——- they have common enemy’s.

    Paki-Chini bhai bhai.
    50 years back it was
    Hindi-Chini bhai bhai

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  • Jan 6, 2012 - 2:47PM

    At the moment there is no other better choice available except ,th China . It is wiser to be a partener with the Chinese’ in every field for better survival in the recent scenario. More over it is a time tested cooperation between’ China and Pakistan.

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  • roma
    Jan 7, 2012 - 6:20AM

    he should take Info Minister Firdous Awan with him – Information has to be involved after all.

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  • usman
    Jan 7, 2012 - 7:31AM

    @saleem ullah :

    u said “time tested”.. lol.. as if china and pak are having relations for 1000 years.. chinese only want markets and nothing else… why can’t pakistan stand on it’s own feet and have good relations with everyone..

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  • Fuad
    Jan 7, 2012 - 12:03PM

    @khan,
    @safenation
    You are Spot on!!!
    The chinese have been using us as their outpost, in return Pakistan consistantly remains shortchanged ie., we have done a poor negotiating job for ‘services rendered’ just like our relationship with th US.Recommend

  • MarkH
    Jan 7, 2012 - 4:52PM

    Whether it was requested or not, it really isn’t his place to have such meetings. At least not some like these. He’s being treated like the president. It’s not like it’s going to be casual conversation. Only a fraction of what could possibly be talked about is relevant to his true job/purpose in Pakistan.
    Though it went unspoken, it appears China views the military as the ones in charge also. I highly doubt there’s some bad intention but, a communist country taking a Pakistani general into confidence over the president implies there’s something going on that isn’t in favor of the civilians.

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  • SafeNation
    Jan 7, 2012 - 7:21PM

    Despite vast untapped resources, since inception Pakistan’s has always depended on outside assistance. That behavior has, in fact, become second nature. With the relations gone sour with the US, the country has taken an easier yet dangerous direction – seeking favors from China.

    In the current environment, it is easy to forget the past and savor the right words from the Chinese that is music to the ears. During 1971 war with India, China was still Pakistan’s friend. But, did they ever come to the rescue? Ever wondered why? Because, it was Pakistan’s war and even if Pakistan were to win, China would still have nothing to gain.

    China can be a useful partner, but only in the company of a well balanced partnership with other countries, so that over-dependence on one, to the exclusion of all others, does not end up becoming a burden and a set back.

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  • Tahir
    Jan 10, 2012 - 11:28PM

    @International Spectator:
    Who was Mike Mullen? Did he use to meet PM and President of Pakistan? Stop this undue sensationalism and better embrace reality!

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