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BEIJING: China on Mon­day said it is op­posed to the US “fin­ger point­ing” at Pak­istan and link­ing it with ter­ror­ism, in­sist­ing that the re­spon­si­bil­ity of crack­ing down on ter­ror out­fits can­not be placed on a par­tic­u­lar coun­try.

China's sup­port for its all­weather ally came as the US stepped up its ef­forts to pres­sure Pak­istan to elim­i­nate ter­ror safe havens on its soil.

The US last week sus­pended ap­prox­i­mately $2 bil­lion in se­cu­rity as­sis­tance to Pak­istan for its fail­ure to take de­ci­sive ac­tion against ter­ror groups like the Tal­iban and the Haqqani Net­work.

“China al­ways op­posed link­ing ter­ror­ism with any cer­tain coun­try and we don t agree to place the re­spon­si­bil­ity of anti ter­ror­ism on a cer­tain coun­try,” Chi­nese For­eign Min­istry spokesman Lu Kang told a me­dia brief­ing. He was re­spond­ing to a ques­tion on a White House of­fi­cial's re­marks that China could play help­ful role in con­vinc­ing Pak­istan that it was in its na­tional in­ter­est to crack­down on ter­ror safe havens.

“We have stressed many times that Pak­istan has made im­por­tant sac­ri­fices and con­tri­bu­tions to the global anti ter­ror­ism cause. coun­tries should strengthen anti-ter­ror­ism co­op­er­a­tion on the ba­sis of mu­tual re­spect in­stead of fin­ger point­ing at each other. This is not con­ducive to the global ter­ror­ism ef­forts,” Lu said.

China has been vo­cal in ex­tend­ing sup­port to Pak­istan since US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump in­creased rhetoric against Islamabad pro­vid­ing safe havens for ter­ror­ists.

Trump in a New Year's Day tweet ac­cused the coun­try of giv­ing noth­ing to the US but “lies and de­ceit” and pro­vid­ing “safe haven” to ter­ror­ists in re­turn for $33 bil­lion aid over the last 15 years.

Chi­nese me­dia has been spec­u­lat­ing that Trump's ef­forts to step up pres­sure on Pak­istan may move it closer to Islamabad as Beijing is in­volved in a num­ber of projects in the coun­try un­der the $50 bil­lion China Pak­istan Eco­nomic Cor­ri­dor.

The Chi­nese of­fi­cial me­dia is high­light­ing re­ports that Pak­istan may al­low China to build a a mil­i­tary base at Ji­wani lo­cated close to Iran s Chaba­har port, which is be­ing jointly de­vel­oped by In­dia, Iran and Afghanistan.

Ji­wani is also close to the strate­gic Gwadar port in Balochis­tan which is be­ing de­vel­oped by China. While de­fend­ing Pak­istan, Lu said China at the same time backed in­ter­na­tional counter ter­ror­ism ef­forts.

“First and fore­most, I would like to say that ter­ror­ism is the com­mon en­emy of the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity.

“Crack­ing down of ter­ror­ism calls for the joint ef­forts from the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity,” he said.

“Ac­tu­ally, China is de­fend­ing coun­tries that have been making anti-ter­ror­ism ef­forts in a just and fair way. China also wel­comes all the global joint ef­forts in terms of counter ter­ror­ism on the ba­sis of mu­tual trust,” he said.

US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump and China Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping

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