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China praises Pakistan’s ‘restraint’ over tensions

Updated March 08, 2019

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Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Lu Kang says Beijing has "paid close attention to present situation" in briefing to media. — Chinese foreign ministry website/File
Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Lu Kang says Beijing has "paid close attention to present situation" in briefing to media. — Chinese foreign ministry website/File

BEIJING: China has praised Pakistan’s “restraint” and willingness to talk with India to ease tensions between the two countries after a deadly bombing in India-held Kashmir (IHK) last month. Visiting Pakistan on Wednesday, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Kong Xuanyou said Beijing and Islamabad were “all-weather” strategic partners and that they always supported each other, China’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Thursday.

The main mission of Chinese vice foreign minister’s visit was to exchange views on the situation between India and Pakistan and to commend Pakistan for exercising restraint and calm and make efforts to ease the situation, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said during his regular briefing.

“China has paid close attention to the present situation between Pakistan and India, and appreciates Pakistan’s remaining calm and exercising restraint from the beginning, and persisting in pushing to lower the temperature with India via dialogue,” the ministry paraphrased Mr Kong as saying.

China maintains that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries should be respected and does not want to see “acts that violate the norms of international relations”, Mr Kong added.

“China calls on Pakistan and India to refrain from taking actions that aggravate the situation, show goodwill and flexibility, launch dialogue as soon as possible, and work together to maintain regional peace and stability,” he said, adding that China was willing to continue to play a constructive role in this regard.

According to the foreign ministry spokesperson, Pakistan had also appreciated China’s unbiased attitude and was willing to resolve the problem with India. It had expressed the hope that China and other members of the international community could play a constructive role in this process, he said.

He pointed out that the vice foreign minister when in Pakistan held detailed talks on the situation and tension between India and Pakistan and the major concern was the security situation in this region.

The spokesperson said that the Chinese side had stated its position that sovereignty and territorial integrity should be upheld.

“We believe we should take positive measures to ease the tensions so as to maintain peace and stability in this region,” he said.

He said that terrorism was a general issue and the vice foreign minister would hold extensive and in-depth talks with his counterparts.

Published in Dawn, March 8th, 2019