Xi Jinping Lauds Asif Ali Zardari’s Election, Affirms Sino-Pakistani ‘Iron-Clad’ Friendship


New Delhi: In a significant development in South Asia, Chinese President Xi Jinping extended his congratulations to Asif Ali Zardari on his recent election as the President of Pakistan, emphasizing the enduring and robust friendship between China and Pakistan. This relationship, often described as ‘iron-clad’, has been a consistent feature of the historical ties between the two nations and is gaining increased strategic importance against the backdrop of shifting global dynamics.

Asif Ali Zardari, the widower of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, secured the presidency for a second term, marking a rare instance of a civilian leader in Pakistan achieving this feat. His election is seen as a stabilizing factor in the country’s often turbulent political landscape. Zardari, serving as the co-chairperson of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), was the unified choice of the coalition government formed by the PPP and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).

President Xi’s message to Zardari underscored the deep-seated camaraderie and cooperation between the two countries, referring to their relationship as a historical choice and a valued asset for both peoples. He highlighted the recent progress made through high-level exchanges and mutual support on critical issues, which have led to significant achievements, particularly in the development of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

With the world undergoing rapid and unprecedented changes, Xi pointed out that the strategic relevance of the China-Pakistan alliance has become more pronounced. He expressed his commitment to furthering this partnership, working alongside President Zardari to enhance practical cooperation across various sectors, and to foster the growth of the all-weather strategic cooperative partnership between China and Pakistan.

Xi jinping

The return of seasoned politicians like Shehbaz Sharif, Nawaz Sharif, and Zardari to the forefront of Pakistan’s governance is viewed with optimism, particularly in China, as they have historically cultivated strong ties with the Chinese leadership. This trilateral leadership is anticipated to reinforce the strategic relationship with Beijing, which is widely regarded as a counterbalance to India’s regional influence.

Amidst Pakistan’s severe economic challenges, China has played a pivotal role in providing financial support through forex loans and debt rollovers, including a recent agreement to extend a $2 billion loan repayment due in March. This assistance is crucial as Pakistan navigates through its economic turmoil.