POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Nov 14, 2011
ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistan and China are staging joint military exercises, showcasing their relationship as Islamabad's ties with Washington suffer.
The war games that began Monday follow remarks by Pakistani officials suggesting that China could step into the economic, military and diplomatic void if Pakistan's relationship with the United States collapsed.
An army statement says the exercise in Punjab province showed that the "Pakistan-China friendship is higher than the mountains and deeper than oceans."
It was the fourth military exercise between the two nations since 2004.
Washington has courted Pakistan's army since 2001, but the raid on Osama bin Laden in May and disagreements over Afghanistan have poisoned the relationship over the last 1 1/2 years.