The United States does not endorse Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s comment that China and Pakistan are closer than ever due to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ineffective policies, US State Department spokesperson Ned Price said Thursday.
Price was answering a question about Gandhi’s comments in the Lok Sabha Wednesday.
“Indian opposition leader Rahul Gandhi, he made a remark in the Indian parliament today suggesting – saying, stating that it is due to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ineffective foreign policies that Pakistan and China are closer than ever. Does the State Department agree with that assessment?,” a reporter asked Price.
“I will leave it to the Pakistanis and the People’s Republic of China to speak to their relationship. I certainly would not endorse those remarks,” he replied.
Price was further asked if Pakistan and China have become closer because “they feel abandoned” by the US.
“We’ve made the point all along that it is not a requirement for any country around the world to choose between the United States and China. It is our intention to provide choices to countries when it comes to what the relationship with the United States looks like. And we think partnership with the United States conveys a series of advantages that countries typically would not find when it comes to the sorts of partnerships that – “partnerships” may be the wrong term; the sorts of relationships that the PRC has seeked to – has sought to have around the world,” he replied.
“Pakistan is a strategic partner of the United States. We have an important relationship with the government in Islamabad, and it’s a relationship that we value across a number of fronts,” added the spokesperson.
Pakistan’s alliance with China has grown considerably in the past few years, with China investing billions of dollars in the strategic Gwadar Port in Balochistan province. The two countries have also been among the few nations to call for international engagement with the Taliban government in Afghanistan following a botched US-led exit of Western forces from Kabul in August 2021.