China defended its ally Pakistan on Tuesday after U.S. President Donald Trump said the United States could no longer be silent about Pakistan’s ‘safe havens’ for militants and warned it had much to lose by continuing to ‘harbor terrorists’.
Asked about Trump’s speech, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman HuaChunying said Pakistan was on the front line in the struggle against terrorism and had made ‘great sacrifices’ and ‘important contributions’ in the fight.
‘We believe that the international community should fully recognize Pakistan’s anti-terrorism,’ she said.
‘We are happy to see Pakistan and the United States carry out anti-terror cooperation on the basis of mutual respect, and work together for security and stability in the region and world.’
Trump committed the United States to an open-ended conflict in Afghanistan, signaling he would dispatch more troops to America’s longest war and vowing ‘a fight to win’.
Trump insisted that others – the Afghan government, Pakistan, India and NATO allies – step up their own commitment to resolving the 16-year conflict, but he saved his sharpest words for Pakistan.
Senior U.S. officials warned security assistance for Pakistan could be reduced unless the nuclear-armed nation cooperated more in preventing militants from using safe havens on its soil.Pakistan denies allowing militants refuge on its territory, saying it takes action against all groups.