Chinese minister’s visits termed great significance

BEIJING: Chinese Defence Minister, Gen. Wei Fenghe’s last week visits to Pakistan and Nepal was of great practical significance for safeguarding the security of border areas of the southwestern China.

“In the China’s southwest, Nepal and Pakistan are very important friendly neighbours. Therefore, General Wei Fenghe’s trip is of great practical significance for safeguarding the security of border areas of the southwestern China,” Cheng Xizhong, former Chinese Defence Attache in South Asian countries and visiting professor at Southwest University of Political Science said in an article here on Sunday.

During his visit to Pakistan, Gen. Fenghe met with President Dr Arif Alvi and Prime Minister Imran Khan respectively. During his visit to Nepal, he met with President Bidhya Devi Bhandari and Prime Minister and Defence Minister Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli respectively.

The China-Pakistan all-weather strategic cooperative partnership is unique in the world. Under the leadership of the leaders of the two countries, the two sides have continuously strengthened cooperation in various fields and firmly supported each other on issues involving each other’s core interests.

China is willing to develop closer ties, enhance strategic mutual trust and strengthen strategic cooperation with Pakistan so as to push the bilateral military relations to a higher level, jointly cope with various risks and challenges, firmly safeguard the sovereignty and security interests of the two countries, and firmly safeguard regional peace and stability.

General Wei Fenghe said China highly appreciates Nepal’s firm adherence to the one-China policy and China firmly supports Nepal in safeguarding its national independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity.

China will continue to maintain close relations with Nepal, carry out bilateral in-depth practical cooperation, provide support and assistance to the construction of the Nepalese Army as always, making greater contributions to the well-being of the two peoples and regional peace and stability.

In Pakistan, General Wei Fenghe held talks with General Nadeem Raza, Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, and General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Chief of Army Staff, and exchanged views in depth on the regional and international situation, bilateral military relations, and equipment and technical cooperation.

In Nepal, General Wei Fenghe held talks with General Purna Chandra Thapa, Chief of the Nepalese Army. The two sides exchanged in-depth views on the international and regional situation and the relations between the two militaries.

The Indian media noted that on November 30, Chinese Defence Minister Wei Fenghe and Pakistan Chief of Army Staff Qamar Javed Bajwa discussed regional security issues and signed an agreement to deepen defence cooperation between the two all-weather strategic partners.

On the same day, Pakistan’s Inter-Services Public Relations said in a statement that during the talks, the two sides discussed issues of common concern, regional security and bilateral defence cooperation. “The two sides signed a memorandum of understanding to strengthen defence cooperation between the two militaries,” the statement added.

General Qamar Javed Bajwa expressed his gratitude for China’s firm support for Pakistan’s key issues in the region and in the international community. General Bajwa said that the Pakistani military attaches great importance to “the time-tested brotherhood” with China. “We have always stood together and faced the challenges of the future,” he said.

Since the beginning of this year, the border conflict between India and Pakistan has never stopped. At the same time, India and Nepal have accused each other over the disputed territory, and the bilateral relations have reached a low ebb.

In view of the current border confrontation between China and India, the Indian media are very concerned about General Wei Fenghe’s visit to Nepal and Pakistan, believing that this trip is intended to “confront India”.

China maintains friendly relations with Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh and other South Asian countries. As a big power, China is bound to firmly support its friendly neighbours. At the same time, the move has also issued a stern warning to the hostile attitude of some Indians towards China.—APP