Boao forum for Asia: Gilani says China’s enemy is our enemy

Published: April 2, 2012

PM Yousaf Raza Gilani with China’s Executive Vice Premier Li Keqiang. PHOTO: AFP

BOAO, CHINA: 

Pakistan and China moved in lockstep a notch higher than their “time-tested” and “all-weather” friendship status on Sunday when Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani declared that “China’s enemy is our enemy”.

“China’s friend is our friend, and China’s enemy is our enemy,” he said in a meeting with the host country’s Executive Vice Premier Li Keqiang at the State Guest House on the sidelines of the Boao Forum for Asia.

“We consider China’s security as our own security,” Gilani said as he renewed support for Beijing’s position on Taiwan, Tibet and Xinjiang.

Li reciprocated Gilani’s sentiments. “No matter what changes take place at the international level, we will uphold Pakistan’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” he said. “China supports Pakistan’s role in regional and international affairs.”

Beijing’s reiteration of support for Pakistan’s territorial integrity came weeks after US Congressman Dana Rohrabacher introduced a resolution in the House of Representatives seeking independence for the insurgency-hit Balochistan.

Premier Gilani thanked Li for his country’s ringing endorsement of Pakistan’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. Islamabad gives high importance to the security of Chinese citizens on its soil, he said and added that he was personally monitoring the process to provide them extensive protection.

A Chinese woman was shot dead in Peshawar in February. The banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed that they killed her to “avenge the atrocities carried out by Chinese security forces” on Muslims in Xinjiang.

But PM Gilani renewed Pakistan’s support for China’s position on the Muslim-majority region. He condemned the recent ‘terrorist acts’ in Kashgar, Xinjiang, and said that Pakistan considered the East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM) as a common threat to both countries.

Last month, gunmen stabbed 13 people to death in Xinjiang in an attack that Chinese officials blamed on ETIM separatists who want to establish an independent state called East Turkestan and who were allegedly trained in Pakistan’s tribal regions. Officially, Beijing avoided criticism of Pakistan though.

About foreign policy, Gilani said Pakistan is mindful of the importance of maintaining a working engagement with the United States but would not compromise its sovereignty and national dignity. He referred to his meeting with the US President Barack Obama in Seoul, where he told him that Pakistan’s parliament would set the contours of future relations with the US.

China is engaged in a large number of projects in Pakistan, especially in the energy and infrastructure development sectors. Gilani said Islamabad would appreciate if Beijing also helps in the Neelum-Jhelum hydropower project and on the construction of small- and medium-sized dams. He also sought cooperation from the Chinese side on the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project.

Washington has issued several veiled threats about economic curbs if the Iran gas pipeline is not cancelled.

But Premier Gilani renewed his country’s resolve to not abandon the project – which is so vital to overcome the burgeoning energy crisis that has sparked violent protests and rioting in the country.

“Realisation of the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project will open new vistas of cooperation,” Gilani told Iranian Vice President Mohammad Javad Mohammadizadeh in a separate meeting on the fringes of the Boao Forum.

“Pakistan is currently facing energy shortage,” Gilani said and added that 1,000 megawatts of electricity being supplied from Iran to Balochistan would prove helpful in overcoming the crisis.

Gilani said there was a need to address the issues of narcotics and drug trafficking in the region. He added that Pakistan considers Jundullah as a terrorist outfit. Iran has blamed the Sunni insurgent group, which is based in its Sistan-o-Balochistan province, for stoking violence in the country. Jundullah is rumoured to have sanctuaries in southwestern Pakistan.

On the regional front, Gilani said Pakistan wants to maintain good ties with its neighbours, including Iran, Afghanistan, China and India and called for joint efforts to stabilise Afghanistan. He also renewed support for Iran’s right to peaceful use of nuclear technology. Western powers contest Tehran’s nuclear programme and allege that the Islamic Republic is secretly developing an atomic bomb.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 2nd, 2012.

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Reader Comments (39)

  • Blithe
    Apr 2, 2012 - 6:00AM

    That handshake seems to have electrified
    Makhdoom Gilani: look at the way his eyes have lit up.

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  • Khurram
    Apr 2, 2012 - 6:12AM

    Mr. Prime Minister please if I may ask you what is the purpose of making such bizarre and outlandish statements like “China’s friend is our friend, and China’s enemy is our enemy,” and “We are two countries but One Nation.” Why do we stoop so low in a manner so much self-deprecating and what happened to our National Honour?

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  • Harry Stone
    Apr 2, 2012 - 6:19AM

    PAK is wise to lay the ground work for what comes after the US.

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  • Babloo
    Apr 2, 2012 - 6:24AM

    So Pakistan will declare a country enemy of Pakistan , irrespective of how that country deals with Pakistan but only based on that countries relations with China ? This is total surrender of soveriginity.

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  • Hairaan
    Apr 2, 2012 - 6:24AM

    What a negative heading.

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  • Arijit Sharma
    Apr 2, 2012 - 6:27AM

    “China’s friend is our friend, and China’s enemy is our enemy,” … does China have enemies ?

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  • cybernaut
    Apr 2, 2012 - 7:18AM

    Let us see
    China’s enemies (in order of relevance)
    Japan- One of the largest donor of developmental AID to Pakistan
    USA – Largest developmental and military aid donor of Pakistan (rivals not enemies, can get hostile over Taiwan)
    India – Chinese consider India less relevant , Dalai Lama/Tibet is the issue
    Vietnam
    South Korea
    Philipines
    NATO – if US gets sucked in over taiwan

    China’s Friend
    North Korea
    Pakistan
    Sudan

    In real world , China’s enemies are Tibetian monks and Xinjiang muslims, everyone knows who supports those two, hence by logic of enemies friend is friend , Enemies friend is enemy – Pakistan and India should be best friends :)

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  • Deepwater
    Apr 2, 2012 - 7:27AM

    No self-respecting Premier would say such a thing. Looks like Pakistan will leave no stone unturned to find its next master state.

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  • Apr 2, 2012 - 8:16AM

    This is tribal mentality. Not so long ago Pakistan swore an oath of loyalty with the US, especially during the Soviet war in Afghanistan. Now, both cant stand together.

    On another note, who is China’s enemy anyway? India? Certainly not Indo-China trade is many times Pak-China trade can ever be. It has generated more jobs in both the Countries than the entire population of Pakistan!

    Is it the US? Then why do US-China trade runs into, literally, billions of dollars per year? Why did China bail out the US during recession? Why does China send its students to the US to study?

    In this World, interests take primary importance, not Taliban-esque statements of gratitude and undying loyalty. Why would the Chinese believe you anyway, when they have seen how Pakistan has back stabbed an old ally – The US?

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  • Zoro
    Apr 2, 2012 - 8:21AM

    “Last month, gunmen stabbed 13 people to death in Xinjiang” I really wonder how ????
    Does Pakistan have any friends now ??? Once china will come to know that GWADAR is not happenig… They will drown Pakistan in Gwadar … in any weather …

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  • Apr 2, 2012 - 8:25AM

    He is one of the brain washers for Pakistan. Wonder why was chinese PM was smiling when jillani said we are improving.

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  • Bisphot
    Apr 2, 2012 - 8:52AM

    The title suggests the height of negativity and poverty consciosness.

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  • BlackJack
    Apr 2, 2012 - 9:01AM

    Well, I guess it is human nature to focus (and harp) on what you do not have – national dignity, sovereignty, territorial integrity; and if you have no other advantages to offer your potential masters, juvenile statements like ‘your enemy is our enemy’ become the high point of such a meeting. I am sure even North Korea does not make these kind of slavish statements.

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  • Wonderful
    Apr 2, 2012 - 9:21AM

    Pakistan has one leg amputated. It needs a prosthesis leg for support, either USA or China.

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  • anonymous
    Apr 2, 2012 - 9:24AM

    They say, ”it is not what is said, but who said it,”. It doesn’t befit any sensible leader of a nation to utter something like that. You may never hear a Chinese Premier say that for you in public.

    It gives the impression of immaturity, and possibly a shameless attempt of sucking up to fill up a begging bowl.

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  • Yash
    Apr 2, 2012 - 9:25AM

    @cybernaut:

    nice…but quite confusing….anyway…but thats how world works….:)

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  • Arindom
    Apr 2, 2012 - 9:45AM

    What a Chamchagiri-statement!!!
    Does he know that in today’s work no dignified country calls another country an ‘enemy’??

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  • Harry Stone
    Apr 2, 2012 - 9:45AM

    There is a chance for this to work. PAK has not declared themselves to be allies of China. Once that happens then China better watch out.

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  • Arindom
    Apr 2, 2012 - 9:50AM

    I still can’t believe the PM of an Independant Country made that comment!!!

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  • Adil
    Apr 2, 2012 - 10:22AM

    amricans were the masters of pakistan earlier, and from now on, it’ll be the chinese…why doesn’t pakistan for once try and get out of its slavery mindset..

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  • Mard-e-Haq
    Apr 2, 2012 - 10:32AM

    @Cybernaut,

    In real world , China’s enemies are Tibetian monks and Xinjiang muslims, everyone knows who supports those two, hence by logic of enemies friend is friend , Enemies friend is enemy – Pakistan and India should be best friends :)

    That’s very well said.

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  • MarkH
    Apr 2, 2012 - 10:57AM

    I feel embarrassed for those he represents.

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  • Pollack
    Apr 2, 2012 - 11:33AM

    I sometimes think that the Pakistani civilian setup doesn’t work not just because of pakistan army interference but because of their own stupidity which gets exposed sometimes in bizarre ways like this statement. The US is definitely not a friend to china. Is Gilani saying that the US is pakistans enemy because it’s not chinas friend? I am assuming that Pakistanis will feel disgraced by their leaders open display of sycophancy on the international stage.

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  • Syed
    Apr 2, 2012 - 11:43AM

    “China’s friend is our friend, and China’s enemy is our enemy”

    Really? Pakistan calls Turkey as its brother but Turkey and China actually hate each other. Uighur Muslims of Xinjiang are Turkic-speaking ethnic people and Turkey sympathizes with them. This has always irked China. When 2009 Urumqi riots happened Erdogen called it a genocide and there were large scale demonstrations in Turkey in support of Uighurs. The anti-China sentiment runs deep in Turkey.

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  • Apr 2, 2012 - 12:33PM

    but Pakistan’s enemy is not China’s Enemy

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  • Mohit Chinoy
    Apr 2, 2012 - 12:34PM

    once slave always a slave.No independent nation can behave or say such things.But then pakistan is not a nation but an instrument of islamic jihad thus can stoop to any level to fool anyone

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  • Jp
    Apr 2, 2012 - 12:38PM

    Gilani “China’s friend is our friend, and China’s enemy is our enemy,” Then it is better to hand over foreign policy matters & security matters to china.

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  • Ahmer Ali
    Apr 2, 2012 - 1:11PM

    Very well and impressive statement Mr. PM Gillani but what about USA????????

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  • Kashmirian
    Apr 2, 2012 - 2:25PM

    It is just the beginning, and the “black indians” have already started feeling the heat.

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  • AD
    Apr 2, 2012 - 2:45PM

    Where is ghairat of A NATION.

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  • Syed
    Apr 2, 2012 - 3:40PM

    @Kashmirian

    Your pathetic racism won’t help your Kashmir cause.

    Recommend

  • two timer
    Apr 2, 2012 - 6:04PM

    China has not yet condemned the US resolution on Balochistan.
    Iran, Russia and China support Assad in Syria while Saudi Arabia
    and America want a Sunni regime.Any position Pakistan takes will
    either offend the Saudis or the Chinese.

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  • let there be peace
    Apr 2, 2012 - 8:52PM

    Chinese are feeling so relieved to know now Pakisran is there to protect them.

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  • Indian Kashmirian
    Apr 2, 2012 - 10:15PM

    I want to reply to this guy “Kashmirian” but ET is unwilling to post my reply because I also call myself proud Indian. What hypocrites!!! And so much for free speech!!!

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  • Indian Kashmirian
    Apr 3, 2012 - 12:31AM

    Inspite of trying many times ET does not allow me to post my views on Indian Kashmiris. Perhaps because they cannot think that a Kashmiri can speak for India and perhaps because the truth will be unplatable to the pakistani taste. This incredible show of lack of tolerance towards opposing views is symptomatic of the ills that besiege pakistan today.

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  • Faesal
    Apr 3, 2012 - 7:02AM

    Say Pakistan and China in one sentence, and all jealous indians will gather around

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  • Rafi Ka Deewana
    Apr 3, 2012 - 10:07AM

    @Faesal: “Say Pakistan and China in one sentence, and all jealous indians will gather around”
    Indians and most others (including many posters here) find this amusing. No one believes that China is a friend of Pakistan (or any country for that matter). Tell me one thing so special about Pakistan that will make China treat Pakistan as a “all weather” friend,

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  • usmanx
    Apr 3, 2012 - 10:31AM

    The chinese have a unique diplomatic speak. they speak in hyperbole like pakistan’s friendship is deep as seas high as mountains. In tense relationships, the chinese tend to be quite subtle. this was something pakisan helped nixon in US reproachment towards China.

    (Indians don’t respond to my post).

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  • joy
    Apr 4, 2012 - 1:49PM

    could anyone pls enlighten me as to how can a Prime Minister of a sovereign country even think to utter such words…..left me wondering

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