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Cablegate: Pakistan/China: Fm Qureshi Lauds Prc-Pakistan Friendship

VZCZCXRO2537
PP RUEHCN RUEHDBU RUEHGH RUEHPW RUEHSL
DE RUEHBJ #0426/01 0540920
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 230920Z FEB 10 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY BEIJING
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8205
INFO RUEHOO/CHINA POSTS COLLECTIVE
RUCNAFG/AFGHANISTAN COLLECTIVE
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BEIJING 000426

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR EAP, SRAP, S/P, EEB
STATE PASS USTR
STATE PASS USAID


E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: EAID ECON EINV ETRD PGOV PREL CH PK AF

SUBJECT: PAKISTAN/CHINA: FM QURESHI LAUDS PRC-PAKISTAN FRIENDSHIP

BEIJING 00000426 001.2 OF 002


This cable is Sensitive but Unclassified (SBU) and for official use
only. Not for transmission outside USG channels.

1. (SBU) Summary: Pakistan's friendship with the PRC is a
"cornerstone" of Pakistan's foreign policy and a "model for other
countries to emulate," Pakistani Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah
Mahmood Qureshi said in a February 23 speech at a PRC think tank.
He welcomed China's role as an intermediary between India and
Pakistan and praised China's "constructive role" in Afghanistan. FM
Qureshi's speech stressed Afghanistan's strategic importance to
Pakistan and Pakistan's geopolitical significance as the "fulcrum of
Asia." He announced a goal of increasing bilateral trade with the
PRC to US$15 billion (from its 2009 level of US$6.8 billion) and
welcomed Chinese companies to invest in major energy projects in
Pakistan. FM Qureshi expressed Pakistan's strong interest in
membership in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO),
commenting that SCO Secretary General Imanaliev told him that the
SCO was nearly finished working out criteria for new members to join
the organization. End Summary.

China Cornerstone of Pakistan Foreign Policy
--------------------------------------------

2. (SBU) FM Qureshi emphasized that friendship with China was the
"cornerstone" of Pakistan's foreign policy and "model for other
countries with diverse systems to emulate" in a February 23 public
address at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs-affiliated China
Institute of International Studies, adding that the people of
Pakistan would always stand with their "Chinese friends" just as the
Chinese had always stood with Pakistan. FM Qureshi reiterated
Pakistan's support for a "one China" policy and noted that Pakistan
condemned any attempt to undermine China's sovereignty and
territorial integrity. On counterterrorism, he expressed confidence
that with the help of China, Pakistan would prevail against
terrorism.

Pakistan Welcomes Chinese Role in India-Pakistan Relations
--------------------------------------------- -------

3. (SBU) Pakistan was working seriously to improve relations with
India and hoped for the early resumption of the Composite Dialogue,
FM Qureshi said. Pakistan appreciated China's "constructive role"
in sending a special envoy to New Delhi and Islamabad following the
Mumbai terrorist attacks and welcomed a future role for China in
promoting reconciliation and understanding between Pakistan and
India. India must decide whether it would accept the PRC playing a
third-party, intermediary role, according to FM Qureshi, but as far
as Pakistan was concerned, the PRC had a "blank check" to play "as
active of a role as it wished" in helping to resolve the
India-Pakistan dispute.

Pakistan Praises PRC Role in Afghanistan
----------------------------------------

4. (SBU) China was playing a "very constructive role" in
Afghanistan, Qureshi said in response to a journalist's question.
He commended Chinese investment in Afghanistan for creating jobs and
furthering the international community's goal of promoting economic
development in Afghanistan.

Afghanistan Important for Pakistan
----------------------------------

5. (SBU) FM Qureshi described a consensus within Pakistan that an
independent, strong and stable Afghanistan was essential for
Pakistan's own security and development. He explained that
international terrorism originated from Afghanistan and that Al
Qaeda should be defeated in Afghanistan. Any solution to the
problems in Afghanistan must be Afghan-owned and Afghan-led, FM
Qureshi suggested, adding that Pakistan stood ready to play a role
in Afghan reconciliation efforts if called upon by Afghanistan. FM
Qureshi described a dramatic improvement in Pakistan's relations
with Afghanistan, citing President Zardari's attendance at President
Karzai's inauguration and the resumption of Tripartite Commission
meetings involving military officials from Pakistan, Afghanistan and
NATO as evidence.

Pakistan as Fulcrum of Asia
---------------------------

BEIJING 00000426 002 OF 002

6. (SBU) FM Qureshi declared that the 21st century would be Asia's
century and noted that the shift in power from the Atlantic to the
Pacific and from the United States to Asia was already underway.
For geographic and historical reasons, Pakistan viewed itself as the
fulcrum of Asia and wanted to be a part of evolving Asian
architecture, according to FM Qureshi.

Pakistan Seeks Increased Trade, PRC Investment
--------------------------------------------- --

7. (SBU) FM Qureshi pledged to increase bilateral trade from US$6.8
billion in 2009 to US$15 billion "in the coming years." He praised
China's economic assistance as "focused on tangible development that
strengthens economic fundamentals as opposed to handouts or
conditional aid that reinforce the vicious cycle of dependency."
Noting that 120 Chinese companies and 10,000 Chinese workers were
working in Pakistan, he welcomed Chinese companies "to take
advantage of investment opportunities" such as the Thar Coal
project, Diamer-Basha dam, Dasu dam and Bunji dam projects that
would be launched in the near future.

Pakistan Wants to Join SCO
--------------------------

8. (SBU) Pakistan was "keen" to become to a SCO member and to "play
a role in SCO commensurate with Pakistan's geopolitical status," FM
Qureshi said in response to a journalist's question. FM Qureshi
said that he had reiterated Pakistan's interest in SCO membership in
a February 22 meeting with SCO Secretary General Muratbek Imanaliev,
who reportedly had told him that SCO was nearly finished working out
the criteria for new members to join the organization.

HUNTSMAN

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