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Saturday, 12 May, 2001, 06:54 GMT 07:54 UK
China warned over India 'threat'
Pervez Musharraf (left) and Zhu Rongji
Zhu Rongji: Marking 50 years of ties with Pakistan

By Susannah Price in Islamabad

The Prime Minister of China, Zhu Rongji, is spending the second day of his Pakistani visit meeting business leaders and sightseeing in Islamabad.

The main focus of the visit has been economic co-operation, and several agreements have been signed.

Pakistan's Shaheen missile
Military co-operation is not on the agenda
Mr Zhu and Pakistan's military leader General Pervez Musharraf have both said their relationship remains unaffected by global changes.

But Pakistan is obviously concerned by China's moves towards forging a closer relationship with India.

During a banquet held in Mr Zhu's honour, General Musharraf said India's ambitions remained a source of instability and tension in the region and Kashmir was at the heart of the problem.

Chinese officials have said both countries are important but should not be linked and Beijing appears keen not to appear to favour either.

But the Pakistani press see Mr Zhu's comments that China appreciates and agrees with Pakistan's position for a peaceful settlement in Kashmir as an indication that he is taking sides.

Pakistani influence

Another major concern for China is what it believes is the assistance from the Taleban authorities for Muslim separatists in Xinjiang province.

Chinese Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan with Indian Foreign Minister Jaswant Singh
Chinese ties with India are improving
While China is unlikely to discuss this openly, it will be looking to Pakistan to use its influence to try to stop this.

General Musharraf said Pakistan was trying to bring peace to Afghanistan and that instability there hindered the development of transit routes.

The emphasis on this second day of the Chinese Prime Minister's visit will again be on economic co-operation.

Agreements have already been signed on tourism, copper and gold mining, railways and telecommunications.

Pakistan has made it clear it would like help on other, more ambitious infrastructure projects such as roads and ports.

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See also:

29 Mar 01 | South Asia
Pakistan opens second nuclear plant
18 Jan 01 | South Asia
China and India reach out
10 Aug 00 | South Asia
China accused over Pakistan missiles
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