China on Thursday said the international community "must respect" Pakistan's sovereignty, tacitly confirming reports that it has asked the US not to violate Islamabad's territorial integrity, following the killing of Osama bin Laden.
Asked about reports that China has asked US during its recently concluded strategic dialogue with Washington to respect Pakistan's sovereignty as Islamabad came under heavy pressure after bin Laden's killing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Jiang Yu told media here that "sovereignty and territorial integrity of Pakistan must be respected."
"We believe that Pakistan has made great contribution to international counter-terrorism efforts, as well as huge sacrifices. The international community should understand and support Pakistan's efforts to restore national stability and develop its economy," she said.
According to Pakistan's state run APP news agency, Gilani told Pakistan media here last night after his meeting with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao that "China supported Pakistan's cause on its own."
Gilani said the Chinese conveyed a clear message to the US that "there should be no harm to the Pakistani sovereignty and the US should understand and appreciate concerns of Pakistan."
China asked the US to work with Pakistan in improving their bilateral relations in view of the present scenario, he said.
Chinese leadership conveyed to the US that Pakistan should be helped and its honour should be upheld keeping in view its sacrifices in war on terror, he said.
He quoted Wen as saying that Pakistan faced challenges in the wake of killing of bin Laden and Chinese leadership was categorical in supporting Pakistan's stance as well as its concerns over national honour and sovereignty.
China has "warned in unequivocal terms that any attack on Pakistan would be construed as an attack on China", The News daily quoted diplomatic sources as saying.
The warning was formally conveyed by the Chinese foreign minister at last week's China-US strategic dialogue and economic talks in Washington, it said.
For his part, Gilani reiterated Pakistans's support for its policy of 'One China' and said his country fully supports China on the issues of Taiwan and Tibet.
During her briefing today Jiang skirted questions about Pakistan-China signing new defence agreements. Asked about assertions by Pakistan's Ambassador to China Masood Khan before Gilani's arrival that new defence deals would be signed, she said the two sides signed agreements in economy, technology, finance and energy resources.
"As to specific cooperation, please refer to relevant companies," she said, adding that China is actively implementing pledges to help pro-disaster reconstruction and exerting utmost to help tide over difficulties."