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China on Tuesday jumped to the defence of its all-weather ally Pakistan in the wake of US President Donald Trump's stern warning to it over providing safe haven to terrorists. China said Islamabad was at the frontline of combating terrorism.
Trump, in his first prime-time televised address to announce his Afghanistan and South Asia policy, had hit out at Pakistan for providing safe haven to "agents of chaos" that killed Americans in Afghanistan and warned Islamabad that it had "much to lose" by harbouring terrorists.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying, while reacting to Trump's comments on Pakistan, said, "Hope the relevant policy decision by the US side will be conducive to promoting security, stability of the relevant region."
"(On) President Trump's remarks on Pakistan, I should say that Pakistan is at the frontline of fighting terrorism, has made sacrifices in fighting terrorism, and is making an important contribution to upholding peace and stability," Hua said, strongly defending Beijing's all-weather friend.
Trump, in his address, said a pillar of his new strategy was a change in America's approach to Pakistan.
"We can no longer be silent about Pakistan's safe havens for terrorist organisations, the Taliban, and other groups that pose a threat to the region and beyond," Trump said.
In his speech, Trump slammed Islamabad for harbouring militants who target US service members.
"But that will have to change. That will change immediately. No partnership can survive a country's harbouring of militants and terrorists who target US service members and officials. It is time for Pakistan to demonstrate its commitment to civilisation, order, and to peace," Trump said.
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