Pakistan and China
Sweet as can be?
Even an all-weather friendship has limits
May 12th 2011 | BEIJING AND ISLAMABAD | fromThe Economist print edition
Come rain or shine
PAKISTAN’S ambassador to Beijing, Masood Kahn, was this week fully armed with metaphors to describe the robust friendship between the two countries. “We say it is higher than the mountains, deeper than the oceans, stronger than steel, dearer than eyesight, sweeter than honey, and so on.”
The relationship is indeed a geopolitical keystone for both countries. Pakistan serves as China’s closest friend both in South Asia and among Islamic countries. So close, indeed, that many suspect China has asked Pakistan for the valuable remains of the American stealth helicopter abandoned during the bin Laden raid. Meanwhile, China can help counterbalance Pakistan’s arch-rival, India, including in Afghanistan.
Pakistan seems keen to foster the impression that new tensions with America might nudge it even closer towards China. In his blustery speech to parliament on May 9th Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani struck out on an odd tangent to praise China as an “all-weather friend”, providing Pakistan with strength and inspiration. Not to be outdone, President Asif Zardari issued an effusive statement of his own about a friendship “not matched by any other relationship between two sovereign countries”.
巴基斯坦看起来热衷于促进新的与美国关系的紧张状态，而这种热衷则可能会让其与中国的关系更进一步。在其总理Yusuf Raza Gilani 于5月9号对国会充满争议的演讲中，他突然提出了一个奇怪的话题——中国是一位永不分离的伙伴，她给巴基斯坦提供力量与灵感。