NBC News reports that an unnamed senior Pakistani diplomat said Pakistan invited China to build a naval facility on its soil back in 2011, an offer that is still on the table. The diplomat said that the request came only days after Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was killed by U.S. Special Forces during a raid in Abbottabad, Pakistan, when bilateral relations between Washington and Islamabad took a nosedive.
A report released earlier this month by the U.S. Department of Defense suggested that China “most likely will seek to build additional military bases in countries with which it has a long-standing friendly relationship and similar strategic interests, such as Pakistan.” In response to the report, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying 华春莹 said (in Chinese) on June 7 that it is “groundless,” and that China strongly opposes “irresponsible remarks” from the U.S.
As to why the two countries are drawing increasingly closer to each other, a Pakistani intelligence official told NBC News, “We need an equalizer against India.… Previously, it was the U.S. and Saudi [Arabia]. Now, it’s China.” However, on China’s side, despite a host of contentious issues with India, it is still keen on finding common ground with its major rival in Asia.
U.S. Navy adopts lower-key approach in South China Sea / Financial Times (paywall)
“Operations in contested waters continue but are no longer publicized, admiral says.”
Seven imprisoned for stuffing cotton into air pollution monitors to skew readings / Caixin
The seven imprisoned, for more than a year each, include “two former heads of district environmental protection offices in Xi’an.”
- China banning more synthetic opioids / CTV News
- China, U.S. to hold first diplomatic and security dialogue in Washington – on June 21 / Xinhua
- New Beijing chief vows to finally win fight against pollution / Bloomberg