PRESIDENT Zardaris six-day official visit to China comes at a crucial time with the US and India seeking to target the Pakistan-China cooperation in the civilian nuclear energy field. Indias obsession with Pakistan was made apparent once again when it sent its National Security Adviser Menon scuttling to Beijing just before President Zardaris visit. However, China has taken a strong position in defence of its legitimate civil nuclear deal with Pakistan which is, as has been the case in the past since China joined the IAEA, subject to IAEA safeguards. China has also informed the Nuclear Suppliers Group of the deal even though the NSG does not have any legal standing in international law since it is a voluntary suppliers cartel. India has also been told categorically by China that its civil nuclear cooperation with Pakistan is completely in accordance with international obligations. Chinas determined response to attempts by powers like the US and India to scuttle the Sino-Pak nuclear cooperation should once again make it apparent to this country who its actual allies are. That is why President Zardaris visit is of significance. The visit will not only focus on boosting nuclear cooperation but will have a wide-ranging agenda. There will be continuation of the policy of joint cooperation in the fight against terrorism as well as discussions on regional peace and stability. The energy sector will also be central in efforts to further cooperation not just in the nuclear field but also in alternate energy sources like solar and wind. Unlike the US, which has failed to deliver on so many of its declaratory commitments, the Chinese only commit when they can deliver - and unlike the UK which is apparently seeking to restructure our ministries before it cooperates in the energy sector the Chinese are making no such demands either. There are still areas where the potential for extensive cooperation exists in Pakistan but in which there has hardly been any movement on the ground, despite declarations to the contrary. One such sector is agriculture where there are valuable lessons to be learnt from the Chinese experience and this is also an area that offers a viable market for Pakistani products including fruits. So it is heartening to know that President Zardari has agricultural cooperation also on his agenda for this visit. However, what is equally important for the Pakistani government is to ensure that commitments get translated into action on the ground. The Pakistan-China strategic relationship did suffer post-9/11 in the Pakistani rulers haste to woo the Americans but the Chinese have continued to provide the support and backing to their ally Pakistan despite all the upheavals caused by Islamabads erratic policies; and despite the growing space India has been creating for itself in China.