Ties will 'never rust': China reassures Pakistan ahead of Xi's meeting with PM Modi
Ahead of this week's meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Indian counterpart Prime Minister Narendra Modi, China today reassured Pakistan that relations between both the nations would "never rust" and are as firm as ever.
Xi's meeting with PM Modi is seen as a something that could unnerve Islamabad.
The "all weather" allies, China and Pakistan, have enjoyed close ties that are often viewed with suspicion by India.
At a meeting in Beijing, Chinese State Councillor Wang Yi told Pakistan's Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif that China will continue to firmly support Pakistan.
"We are ready to work together with our Pakistani brothers to undertake the historical mission of national rejuvenation and achieve the great dream of national prosperity and development," Wang said.
"In this way, our iron friendship with Pakistan will never rust and be tempered into steel."
The officials did not make any comments on the upcoming Xi-Modi meeting.
PM Modi has tried to reset relations with Beijing after years of disagreements over issues ranging from border disputes to exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama.
An informal summit between Modi and Xi will be held in China on Friday and Saturday.
Meanwhile, China's Ambassador to India Luo Zhaohui on Sunday hoped that an informal summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping later this week in the Chinese city of Wuhan will enhance "good chemistry" between the two leaders and strengthen bilateral ties.
After a meeting with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi announced in Beijing that Modi and Xi will hold an informal summit in Wuhan city from April 27 to 28.
"The summit will highlight the personal friendship and enhance the good chemistry between the two leaders. I believe with the guidance of our two leaders and through joint efforts of the Chinese and Indian people including you and me, China-India relations will turn a new page," Luo said in a video message while making a debut on Twitter.
(With inputs from agencies)