China should help smooth US-Pakistan relationship

Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani began a visit to China on Tuesday and some have suggested that Pakistan might think embracing its old friend an attractive proposition after the. killing of Osama bin Laden further strained Islamabad’s ties with Washington.

The US suspects Pakistan has connections with Al-Qaida and has expressed doubts about its commitment to anti-terrorism efforts. But the US should remember it could not easily operate in Afghanistan or kill bin Laden without Pakistani efforts. It should not blame Pakistan for the fact that bin Laden was able to hide in Abbottabad, even the US with all its resources spent 10 years tracking down bin Laden.

China is also tangling with the US now it is participating more in the international affairs.

Yang Jingmin is an editor of and can be reached at

China and Pakistan have had a friendly relationship for more than 60 years and it is important for both of them and there is no doubt China should support Pakistan, not only because of the traditional friendship, but also because of geopolitics.

First, Pakistan’s friendship can help China ease the pressure of competition with India. Second, China wants to combat separatist terrorism in Xinjiang, which borders Pakistan. Third, China’s policy is to encourage harmony, security and prosperity with its neighbors. Therefore, China will not play down its relationship with Pakistan even if it aggravates the US.

Nonetheless, China should try to mediate between Pakistan and the US to eliminate the misunderstandings between the two countries. This could be facilitated by the possible convergence of China and the US’ long-term national interests.

The friction between the US and Pakistan puts serious pressure on the Pakistani government, which if not supported, could result in unrest, which might be a disaster for the US. Also a prosperous, sustainable, and secure South Asian region will be less likely to be a base for Al-Qaida and its affiliates.

So China should help Pakistan and the US eliminate misunderstandings so as to promote regional peace and achieve relations conducive to the interests of all three countries.

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