Pakistan FM denies report of Chinese military base

Updated 06 May 2019
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Pakistan FM denies report of Chinese military base

  • ‘China playing a role in Pakistan’s economic prosperity’, says Qureshi

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Saturday rejected a Pentagon report that claimed Beijing is planning to build a military base in his country in order to protect its $62 billion infrastructure investments under the umbrella of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

The Pentagon’s annual report to Congress on Chinese military and security developments, which was released on Thursday, said: “China will seek to establish additional military bases in countries with which it has a longstanding friendly relationship and similar strategic interests, such as Pakistan, and in which there is a precedent for hosting foreign militaries.”

The report added: “China’s leaders are leveraging China’s growing economic, diplomatic, and military clout to establish regional preeminence and expand the country’s international influence.”

In response, Qureshi said: “China is our friend playing a role in Pakistan’s economic prosperity.” 

He added that the report’s claim is propaganda spread by Pakistan’s enemies, including India.

The envisaged corridor will be more than 3,000 km long and will be built over the next few years, consisting of highways, railways and pipelines that are expected to modernize Pakistani infrastructure and strengthen its ailing economy.


China’s Xi arrives in North Korea for talks with Kim Jong Un

Updated 10 min 26 sec ago
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China’s Xi arrives in North Korea for talks with Kim Jong Un

  • The summit comes as both Xi and Kim are locked in separate disputes with the United States — Xi over trade and Kim over his nuclear weapons
  • Chinese and North Korea media have said Xi would stay in Pyongyang for two days

BEIJING: Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived Thursday morning for a two-day state visit to North Korea, where he’s expected to talk with leader Kim Jong Un about the stalled negotiations with Washington over North Korea’s nuclear weapons.
China’s official Xinhua news agency reported that Xi was accompanied by his wife, Peng Liyuan, and several Communist Party officials. He is the first Chinese president to visit North Korea in 14 years.
The summit comes as both Xi and Kim are locked in separate disputes with the United States — Xi over trade and Kim over his nuclear weapons.
A Xinhua commentary said China could play a unique and constructive role in breaking the cycle of mistrust between North Korea and the US so they can work out a roadmap to achieve denuclearization.
The US is demanding that North Korea abandon its nuclear weapons development before international sanctions are lifted. North Korea is seeking a step-by-step approach in which a step toward its denuclearization would be matched by a concession from the US, notably a relaxation of economic sanctions.
China backs what it calls a “suspension for suspension” proposal. The Xinhua said both sides “need to have reasonable expectations and refrain from imposing unilateral and unrealistic demands.”
Experts say Xi will likely endorse North Korea’s calls for an incremental disarmament process.
Chinese and North Korea media have said Xi would stay in Pyongyang for two days. His meeting with Kim would their fifth summit since Kim entered nuclear diplomacy with the United States and South Korea early last year.
In an essay published in both countries’ official media before his trip, Xi praised North Korea for moving in the “right direction” by politically resolving issues on the peninsula. He did not mention Kim’s nuclear diplomacy with the US in the article, much of which focused on lauding the neighbors’ seven-decade relationship. Xi said his visit will “strengthen strategic communication and exchange” between the traditional, though sometimes strained, allies.
The nations fought together in the 1950-53 Korean War against the United States, South Korea and their allies, but there has been friction in recent years, especially over the North’s relentless push for nuclear weapons.