Thursday, May 7, 2009

Dawn: China voices concern over growing US influence

China voices concern over growing US influence

By Kalbe Ali, Dawn, Friday, 08 May, 2009


ISLAMABAD: Chinese Ambassador Lou Zhaohui on Thursday said his country was ‘concerned over the increasing US influence’ in the region. He said the number of foreign forces was ‘too high’ in the region.

Talking to reporters during a visit to the Islamabad Chambers of Commerce and Industry, the Chinese envoy said the ‘outside influence’ was growing in the region.

‘These are issues of serious concern for China,’ he said, adding that China was concerned over the US policies and the presence of a large number of foreign troops in the region.

He said that US strategies needed some ‘corrective measures’ to contain terrorism. However, he added, terrorism was a serious issue and required cooperation between countries in the region to counter it.

‘We are cooperating with the US and Pakistan in the fight against terror,’ Mr Zhaohui said, adding that separatists belonging to Muslim majority areas of western China had got training in Fata and Afghanistan during the 1980s.

‘These groups have been branded terrorists by the UN agencies.’ He said the Chinese authorities were in touch with Pakistani officials to chalk out a joint anti-terrorism strategy.

‘Counter-terrorism is needed with Pakistan and we are in close liaison with the interior ministry for the security of over 10,000 Chinese engineers and technical experts in Pakistan,’ he said, adding that China wanted long-term strategic relations with Pakistan.

The ambassador said that more than 60 Chinese companies were involved in 122 projects in Pakistan.

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