ISLAMABAD: Pakistan neither believes in the bloc politics and nor it has any desires to join any bloc, its Foreign Office (FO) said on Thursday, describing China as an all-weather strategic partner.
The statement comes at a time of growing proximity between China and Russia amid criticism of their relationship in the West as the war in Ukraine drags on.
Russia’s prime minister signed a set of agreements with China on Wednesday during a trip to Beijing, describing bilateral ties at an unprecedented high, despite criticism of their relationship in the West as the war in Ukraine drags on.
Pakistan, which has historic ties with China and has long been an ally of the United States (US), has refuted speculation that Islamabad had joined any of the two blocs.
“Pakistan has a consistent policy that we do not believe in bloc politics. We have an All-Weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership with China. It is a relationship that has grown from strength to strength over the last several decades and both countries are committed to this relationship,” Mumtaz Zahra Baloch, an FO spokesperson, told a weekly press briefing.
“Similarly, Pakistan has excellent relations with a large number of countries around the world, in the Middle East, in Asia Pacific, in Europe and in Africa. The United States especially, is one of the oldest friends and partner of Pakistan and the biggest export market.”
Pakistan and the US relations have “multidimensional” ties and both countries cooperate with each other in several areas, according to the spokesperson.
“Pakistan-US relations are multidimensional with several areas of cooperation with Pakistani Americans acting as a bridge between Pakistan and the United States,” she said. “We have no desire to take sides or to join one bloc or the other.”
Apart from China, Pakistan has been leaning toward Russia for the last one year, trying to secure cheaper energy imports from Moscow. With the war in Ukraine in its second year and Russia increasingly feeling the weight of Western sanctions, Moscow is relying on Beijing for support, far more than China on Russia, feeding on Chinese demand for oil and gas.
The pressure from the West has shown no sign of easing, with the Group of Seven’s weekend declarations singling both countries out on a series of issues including Ukraine. The G7 agreed to tighten sanctions against Moscow and urged China to press Russia to withdraw its forces from Ukraine.
Beijing has rejected Western attempts to link its partnership with Moscow to Ukraine, insisting the relationship does not violate international norms, China has the right to collaborate with whichever country it chooses, and their cooperation is not targeted at any third countries.