One distinguishing factor of the history of Chinas relations with the outside world since the Communist takeover has been that its assistance is unencumbered with strings. Of course, in the ultimate analysis, the cooperation serves the interests of both. The receiving state benefits in terms of development or by tiding over a crisis situation, and the helping state stands to gain in terms of goodwill and friendship. Pakistan and China, which celebrate 60 years of the establishment of their diplomatic relations this year, can look back with a sense of great satisfaction on the glorious chapter of their cooperation that covers different fields. Two separate press reports underline the Chinese desire to help the neighbouring countries. Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif, on a tour of China in search of Chinese investment, met with an extraordinary gesture of friendship from Chairman Export and Import Bank Li Rougu when he said that he was ready to soften the terms of loan for investment in Punjabs infrastructure, energy and other sectors, assuring cooperation in Rawalpindi and Lahore Ring Road projects and small dams in the province. The Pakistani delegations excitement touched a new pitch as Chairman North Industry Corporation Zhao Gang announced that his company would not make any profit out of the mass transit project in Lahore. The sincerity in evidence in the Chinese help over the years prompted Mian Shahbaz to observe that had Pakistan fully benefited from such offers, it would have now been standing on its own feet. It is hard to dispute the point. The briefing that another Pakistani delegation consisting of media men received from a Chinese Foreign Ministry official also reflected the above spirit of genuine cooperation. Beijings input in solving the Afghan problem in coordination with Pakistan is welcome, as it would not reek of the US and Western vested interests that extend beyond the borders of Afghanistan to Central Asia. The official rightly wanted the world to respect Afghan sovereignty; the people who bear the scars of the decades of wars deserve unalloyed help from the world community. He dispelled the fear that China was developing seaports in Pakistan and South Asia to use them for military purposes; it would meet the needs of the country concerned and facilitate the Chinese goods in reaching their destinations. On terrorism, the officials views coincided with Pakistans: no religion is to blame, and without tackling the root causes it would keep making life difficult for all of us. And on Kashmir, China stood by Pakistan, as always. One would wish and hope that our leadership realised that nothing could be gained rather, a lot stands in danger of being lost from looking towards the West. The hand of friendship extended by Beijing should be firmly grasped.