China's commitment to Pakistan, regardless of flowery rhetoric, remains pragmatic, and must be balanced against Indian concerns and sensitivities. Although both the US and China have long histories of engagement in the region, and particularly with Pakistan, it is remarkable how rarely the policies of the two states have intersected. The US-Pakistan relationship might best be described as a sine curve, a wave pattern with high peaks and deep valleys. The US pursues a close relationship with Pakistan when it perceives vital interests are at stake. Pakistan recognized the People's Republic of China (PRC) while a member of the South East Asian Treaty Organization, an action that prompted an explanatory statement by senior Chinese officials to the effect that this was not viewed as incompatible. US and Chinese policy for both Pakistan and the region have tended to run on parallel tracks, and common interests have been pursued independently.