Pakistan continues to play pivotal role in China's South Asia policy and India "must accept" this "enviable friendship" as Beijing cannot scale down its ties with Islamabad merely because of New Delhi's feelings, an official daily here said today. The high-profile welcome received by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang with JF-17 fighter jets escorting his plane and President and Prime Minister of Pakistan in attendance at the airport to receive him reflects all-weather ties, state-run Global Times said in its editorial. "The relationship between India and China has grown broader while the Sino-Pakistan relations have gained depth," said the tabloid daily attached to the ruling Communist Party of China. "Pakistan's importance to China has never been weakened despite its relatively turbulent political situation and slower economic development compared with China and India in recent years. Pakistan will play a pivotal role in China's South Asian strategy," it said, two days after Li concluded his maiden visit to India, his first foreign tour after assuming office in March. Observing that "developing friendly cooperation with both India and Pakistan, a pair of neighbours with many disputes, meets the interests of China" and the region, the tabloid said China played a positive role in the continuous easing of the relationship between India and Pakistan. "China has not played balancing strategy, using one country against the other," it said, denying widely held perception that Beijing secretly helped Islamabad to master nuclear technology. "These suspicions are groundless but cannot easily be dispelled," it admitted. "China will not exploit Pakistan as a political card to play. This should be considered part of the mutual understanding between China and India," it said. "However, India must accept and adapt to the enviable friendship between China and Pakistan, which is not aimed at any third party and has no upper limit. China cannot scale down this relationship merely because of India's feelings," it said. "The strategic value of the Sino-Pakistani relationship is also of regional significance. It is conducive to the stability of western China and can also assist, rather than harm, the Sino-Indian relationship on the whole," it said. This is the third year in a row that a member of the Karnik family has placed in the top 10 of the National Geographic Bee. Sathwik's brother, Karthik, took fifth place at the 2011 Bee and sixth place at the 2012 Bee. But it is Sathwik who realised the family dream. Second-place winner and recipient of a USD 15,000 college scholarship was Illinois' Conrad Oberhaus, 13, seventh-grader at Daniel Wright Junior High School in Lincolnshire, a suburb of Chicago. The six other finalists, who each won USD 500, were Tuvya Bergson-Michelson of California, Pranit Nanda of Colorado, Neha Middela of Michigan, Neelam Sandhu of New Hampshire, Harish Palani of Oregon and Asha Jain of Wisconsin. National Geographic Bee is an annual geography contest sponsored by the National Geographic Society since 1989. 'India must accept enviable friendship between China and Pak'