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China says ties with Pakistan ‘unbreakable’ despite political upheaval

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China’s ties with Pakistan are “unbreakable and rock solid”, the foreign ministry said on Wednesday against the backdrop of the ongoing political crisis in Islamabad.

The ministry added the country’s internal turmoil will not affect the overall cooperation between the all-weather allies, including projects under the $60 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

Rapid political developments in Pakistan have led to the dissolution of its parliament with Prime Minister Imran Khan, who was set to lose a no-confidence vote in the parliament, claiming there was a US-led conspiracy to unseat him.

The opposition in Pakistan moved the Supreme Court to adjudicate the legality of the dissolution of parliament as well as the subsequent declaration of fresh elections.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian was asked to comment on the political situation in Pakistan at the regular ministry briefing on Wednesday.

“China and Pakistan are all-weather strategic cooperative partners. History has proven once again that no matter how the international landscape may evolve, and how our respective domestic situations may change, China and Pakistan relations will always stand unbreakable and rock solid,” Zhao said.

Zhao added that while the political situation may not affect Beijing’s close ties with Islamabad, Beijing hoped that parties would close ranks to stay united for the development and stability of the country.

“China always follows the principle of non-interference in other countries’ domestic affairs,” he said.

“We believe that the overall China-Pakistan cooperation and the CPEC construction will not be affected by the political situation in Pakistan. As an ironclad friend of Pakistan, we hope all parties in the country can stay united and jointly uphold national development and stability,” he said.

Beijing will likely keep a close watch on the political developments in Pakistan given its big investments in the country. Under the CPEC, for one, which connects Pakistan’s Gwadar port in Balochistan province to China’s Xinjiang, Chinese companies are building a host of infrastructure projects.

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