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China can benefit from US, Pak post-Osama killing mistrust

May 6, 2011 - Washington

Chinese analysts are suggesting that the mistrust between the United States and Pakistan after the killing of Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden might benefit Beijing.

China has described the death of bin Laden a landmark event and said it was a step in the right direction for anti-terrorism efforts, and then praised Islamabad for its counter-terror efforts.

Some influential Chinese analysts are suggesting that the mood of mistrust gives Beijing a chance to wean Pakistan away from its dependence on US security assistance.

"So long as Pakistan relies on the US for counter-terrorism support it will suffer more attacks, not less," argues Yan Xuetong, head of the Institute for International Affairs Studies at Tsinghua University in Beijing.

"Pakistan is at the important forefront in the international counter-terrorism campaign," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said on Tuesday.

She added: "The Chinese government will firmly support Pakistan formulating and implementing counter-terrorism strategies in line with its domestic conditions."

China and Pakistan are old and close friends. Pakistan was one of the first countries to recognize the People's Republic of China, and stuck by the country during its years of international isolation in the 1960's and 1970's.

The two countries are celebrating the 60 year anniversary of their diplomatic relations this year.We have common strategic interests so our relationship is stable" said Professor Yan.

He added: "Both sides need to keep their border safe, to prevent cross-border terrorism, and to keep the regional balance of stability."


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