Jinping greets Zardari; says close China-Pakistan ties 'choice of history'

Asif Ali Zardari becomes the only civilian president of the coup-prone country for a second time

Pakistan president Asif Ali Zardari (photo: @SriNithyananda/X)
Pakistan president Asif Ali Zardari (photo: @SriNithyananda/X)


Chinese president Xi Jinping on Sunday congratulated Asif Ali Zardari on his election as the Pakistan president, saying that the “iron-clad friendship” between the two countries is a “choice of history” and the “strategic significance” of the ties has become more “prominent” in the light of current changes in the world.

Zardari, husband to assassinated Pakistan prime minister Benazir Bhutto, was overwhelmingly elected as the 14th president of Pakistan on Saturday, becoming the only civilian president of the coup-prone country for a second time.

Zardari, the co-chairperson of the Pakistan Peoples Party, was the joint candidate of the ruling alliance of the PPP and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).

In his message to Zardari on Sunday, Xi said, "China and Pakistan are good neighbours, good friends, good partners and good brothers, adding that the two countries' iron-clad friendship is a choice of history and a precious treasure of the two peoples."

Xi added that "the two countries have in recent years maintained close high-level exchanges, supported each other on issues concerning their respective core interests and major concerns, achieved fruitful results in the construction of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and maintained a high level of development of bilateral relations," state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

India has objected to the $60 billion CPEC connecting China’s Xinjiang with Gwadar port in Balochistan as it is being laid through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).

Xi in his message said as the world is confronted with accelerated changes unseen in a century, the strategic significance of China-Pakistan relations has become more prominent, and he highly regards the development of China-Pakistan relations, and is ready to work with Zardari to carry forward the traditional friendship between China and Pakistan, advance practical cooperation in various fields, push for greater development of China-Pakistan all-weather strategic cooperative partnership, accelerate the building of an even closer China-Pakistan community with a shared future in the new era, so as to better benefit the two peoples.

Earlier, Xi greeted Shehbaz Sharif on being elected as Pakistan’s prime minister.

The return of Shehbaz and his brother Nawaz Sharif as well as Zardari at the helm of Pakistan’s politics and government in the midst of chaos and severe economic crisis in Pakistan is viewed with a sense of relief in Beijing as all three of them over their years in power in the past few decades maintained close ties with Chinese leaders and furthered the strategic ties with Beijing viewed widely as a strategic alliance against India.

China had an uneasy relationship with former prime minister Imran Khan's government, which was blamed for the slow progress of the CPEC. China has been providing forex loans and rollover of its debt periodically to bail out Pakistan, which is facing a severe economic crisis. Recent reports from Islamabad said China has agreed to roll over a $2 billion loan due to be paid in March.

Follow us on: Facebook, Twitter, Google News, Instagram 

Join our official telegram channel (@nationalherald) and stay updated with the latest headlines