China and Pakistan have pledged to back each other’s “core and major interests” in the United Nations after holding bilateral consultations on UN affairs.
Both countries, which describe their relationship officially as one of “all-weather partners” and “iron brothers”, have in recent months stepped in to provide crucial support to the other on issues they see as sensitive, with Beijing raising the Kashmir issue at the UN Security Council and Islamabad backing China on Hong Kong and Xinjiang.
The two sides on Thursday held the third round of consultations on UN affairs virtually, led by Yang Tao, Director-General of the Department of International Organisations and Conferences of China’s Foreign Ministry, and Usman Iqbal Jadoon, Director-General (United Nations) of Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry, and with their permanent missions to the UN in New York and Geneva also participating.
In a joint statement, the two countries said they would “firmly safeguard multilateralism and support the central role of the United Nations in international affairs.”
This comes amid heightened Chinese criticism of what it calls United States-led “selective multilateralism”, aimed particularly at the India, U.S., Australia and Japan Quadrilateral framework, as well as the “rules-based order” advocated by the Quad.
China and Pakistan also agreed to “strengthen their cooperation on the United Nations and other multilateral platforms and to support each other on each side’s core and major interests, work toward the political and peaceful resolution of regional and international hotspot issues, and jointly safeguard peace and stability of the world, especially in Asia.”
The statement said they would “continue to strengthen cooperation on counter-terrorism and peacekeeping in the UN framework, by addressing the issue of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations”. China has in the past stepped in on many instances to block the listing of Pakistani terrorists at the UNSC sanctions committee..
The statement added they both would “consolidate strategic coordination in the field of human rights, jointly opposing double standards and the politicisation of human rights issues, and working for the promotion and protection of all human rights in a cooperative manner.”
China in 2019 and 2020 raised the Kashmir issue at the UNSC on at least three occasions, calling for discussions in the wake of India’s dilution of Article 370, reorganisation of Jammu and Kashmir and revocation of special status.
Pakistan, meanwhile, has lobbied for China’s support amid increasing criticism from western countries over Xinjiang. In October, Pakistan also made a joint statement on behalf of 55 countries at the UN “opposing interference in China’s internal affairs under the pretext of Hong Kong.”