Dragging China into Pakistani political mess: Xi Jinping’s visit to Pakistan was never planned, says Chinese Foreign Ministry

OpinionDragging China into Pakistani political mess: Xi Jinping’s visit to Pakistan was...

Dragging China into Pakistani political mess: Xi Jinping’s visit to Pakistan was never planned, says Chinese Foreign Ministry

The Pakistani government earlier announced that the visit of the Chinese President Xi Jinping to Pakistan had been cancelled, accusing Imran Khan and Dr Tahirul Qadri of being responsible for this as their parties have been holding sit-ins against the incumbent government in Islamabad since mid-August.

However, the Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Qin Gang at his regular press conference on Friday said that the president Xi Jinping’s visit to Pakistan was never planned.

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Qin Gang’s Regular Press Conference on September 5, 2014

Q: Media reports said that China has cancelled President Xi Jinping’s visit to Pakistan out of security concerns. Can you confirm that?

A: China and Pakistan are friendly neighbors enjoying all-weather friendship and comprehensive cooperation. We have maintained close high-level exchanges. Both sides are in close communication on the next step of such exchanges. It is worth pointing out that we have never released any information about President Xi’s visit to Pakistan officially. So, there is no basis to say we are about to cancel anything.

As for the current security situation in Pakistan, we hope relevant parties in Pakistan can work together while bearing in mind the fundamental interests of the state and the people, and jointly safeguard national security.

The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N)-led federal government in Pakistan continued to blame the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and the Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) for the cancellation of the Chinese president’s visit to the South Asian country.

In his address at the joint session of the parliament on Friday, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said that the objectives of those staging sit-ins by the PTI and the PAT were clear to everybody.

“We are trying to address the current situation through dialogue but the protests have adversely affected Pakistan’s image. The presidents of Maldives and Sri Lanka had already cancelled their visits while suspicion now surrounds the visit of Chinese president,” the premier said.

Nawaz Sharif said that China was to make an investment of $34 billion and now the future of this investment was also uncertain. “We were pursuing a long-term development agenda spanning over twenty years but the protests have created impediments to it,” Sharif said.

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