Joint efforts by US, China must to confront climate change: FM


Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Thursday said that in times of geopolitical division Pakistan wants to be a ‘bridge by uniting’ the United States and China.

The PPP scion’s remarks came during an interview with Foreign Policy, where he maintained that Pakistan’s “unique position as a friend of both the United States and China” could help encourage cooperation between the two countries.

Dubbing the claim of China not coming to Pakistan’s aid in its recent time of need as “absolutely incorrect”. He maintained that Islamabad’s relationship with Beijing was not new and had long bipartisan roots.

“And I like to say that we wanted to be friends with China when nobody wanted to be friends with China. Now, everybody wants to be friends with China,” Bilawal added.

Responding to the interviewer’s assertation that the US did not want to be friends with China, Bilawal said that “not everything is about the geopolitical conflict of the United States and China”.

He stated that it was “preposterous” and “absolutely ridiculous” that a conversation about US and China relations was occurring while talking about Pakistan’s survival and ability to deal with “cataclysmic flooding”.

The minister emphasised that climate change could not be confronted if the two superpowers did not work together.

Commenting on Beijing’s lack of aid to Colombo during their economic crisis, Bilawal maintained that Pakistan’s context was “completely different” and that while the country was going “through a climate catastrophe”.

The interviewer argued that Pakistan was going through both an economic and a climate crisis.

“In the sense that that was solely an economic crisis of its own dynamics. But as far as what China does—whether it’s with Sri Lanka or Pakistan—that’s totally China’s decision. Just like it’s 100 per cent America’s decision in either of these circumstances,” the minister replied.

He retained that Pakistan would rather continue to play its past role of bridging the gap between the two countries than exacerbate the gap.

“Right now, particularly when we’re drowning in floods, I don’t want to play any part in exacerbating any tensions or being a geopolitical football,” he said.

Regarding the Russia-Ukraine war, the foreign minister was of the belief that the “broad consensus” within Pakistan had declared that the country did not want to be “dragged into this conflict”.


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