Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Friday told his Chinese counterpart Li Kequiang that the Pakistan-China relation was "sweeter than honey", a comment that is likely to send shockwaves of bitterness across Indian territories which were relegated to the position of "troublemaker" by a top Chinese general on Thursday, after he warned India not to stir up "new trouble" over border disputes.
Major General Luo Yuan, the deputy-director general of the world military research department, told reporters at a PLA academy that India should not "provoke new problems and increase the military deployment at the border areas and start new trouble." The comment came only hours before defence minister AK Antony was to arrive in Beijing on Thursday for a four-day official visit to China. His visit also coincides with Sharif's trip to China, sending across unease vibes down south.
Meanwhile, Sharif who is on his first foreign trip since his May election would reportedly dominate his visit with the aim to cement chronic energy and economic crisis in his country. The deepening diplomatic and military comradeship between the long-term allies could consign New Delhi to an uneasy diplomatic position, which in recent days had engaged in a political furor regarding a Chinese infiltration into Indian territories.
Referring to a grand welcome he received from Chinese officials, Sharif said that it reminded him "of the saying, our friendship is higher than the Himalayas and deeper than the deepest sea in the world, and sweeter than honey"- a comment that could be construed as a subliminal reference to India's dispute of borders with China in the "Himalayas" and its tussle with the Philippines over military build-up in South China Sea with metaphors thrown in for each of the respective issues .
His counterpart Li Kequiang responding to the unusual remarks said, "I greatly appreciate your great warmth and deep affection for the people of China".
The state-run Chinese Xinhua news agency that carried reports and photographs of the two leaders said that Sharif has showed "his determination to consolidate and foster the good-neighbourly and friendly ties with China."
This comes only a day after General Lou Yuan, the Chinese general known for his nationalist views, said India is the only country which is developing its military power citing China's military threat as the reason. He said India should therefore be careful about what it does and says. The sharp comment from a military personal of the People's Liberation Army came as a stark reminder of the recent diplomatic row that New Delhi and Beijing engaged in, after the later alleged that Chinese troops intruded into India's Ladakh region.
In a move that would deeply stir even more adverse sentiments across the Indian sub-continent, the general said, "There is still problem of 90,000 sq km of territory still occupied by the Indian side. These are the problems left over from history and we should look at it with cool head". Only a day after this was said, here is a Pakistan leader posturing about his country's "sweeter than honey" relationship with China. These developments have increasingly pushed India into an unpleasant spotlight.
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