China on Monday said it would “firmly support” Pakistan amid political uncertainties in the country, pledging to work with the newly appointed Prime Minister to strengthen the two countries' “all-weather partnership”.
"As a close and friendly neighbour of Pakistan, we will firmly support its efforts to realise social stability and to boost national development and economic and social progress,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told a regular briefing, when asked about the appointment of Raja Pervez Ashraf as Prime Minister following the removal of Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani.
"We are willing to continue strengthening our all-weather partnership with Pakistan,” Mr. Hong said.
The State-run Xinhua news agency highlighted the fact that Mr. Ashraf had, in his first major speech to parliament, pledged to enhance ties with China, declaring that “Pakistan's friendship with China is higher than mountains and China has helped us in every hour of need and we would further enhance it.”
"The prime minister referred exclusively to Pakistan's historic and time-tested relations with China and praised Beijing for siding with Islamabad in all difficult times,” Xinhua reported. “Ashraf’s comments on China received applause in parliament at a time when Islamabad is struggling to put on track its relations with the United States.”