BEIJING – US accusations against Pakistan would further strengthen already close ties between Pakistan and China, a report in China’s Global Times newspaper said on Thursday.
Two important advances in financing and military cooperation between Pakistan and China have been reported following Donald Trump’s latest Twitter attack on Islamabad, the paper said.
According to the report, the State Bank of Pakistan’s statement that public and private sectors are free to choose the Chinese currency for bilateral trade, may not be a dramatic policy change, but the timing made the move significant.
A day after Trump’s tweet against Pakistan, the State Bank announced that it has taken measures to ensure the use of the yuan in bilateral trade and financing transactions and that public and private sectors are free to choose the Chinese currency for bilateral trade and investment activities.
“We encourage market entities from both countries to use our own currencies in clearing bilateral trade and investment, we welcome the measures from the Pakistani side,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said at Thursday’s press conference.
The newspaper said America’s strategic shift towards India could also improve military cooperation between Islamabad and Beijing.
Citing a a report published in US media, the paper said China is in talks with Pakistan to build an overseas military base as part of a push for greater maritime capabilities along strategic sea routes.
“Both Beijing and Islamabad have the ability to build a joint naval and air facility in Pakistan, but it is unnecessary at this time,” as it is a backup plan for the Indo-Pacific strategy of the US and its allies, Lin Minwang, a professor at Fudan University’s Center for South Asian Studies, was quoted as having told the Global Times.
He said US and its allies push their Indo-Pacific strategy to the extreme, China will surely carry out a plan with Pakistan to ensure the security of sea routes.