Days after Pakistan declined to attend a regional security dialogue on Afghanistan hosted by India, China has also backed out of the moot, it emerged on Tuesday.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin cited "scheduling reasons", saying it was "inconvenient" for Beijing to attend the meeting.
"We have already given our reply to the Indian side,” he said during his regular press briefing.
According to a report by India Today, India will host the Delhi Regional Security Dialogue on Afghanistan on November 10 (Wednesday) which will be chaired by Indian National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval.
According to the Indian Ministry of External Affairs, the "high-level dialogue will review and deliberate upon measures to address relevant security challenges and support the people of Afghanistan in promoting peace, security and stability".
The report added that seven countries had confirmed that they would participate in the meeting, namely Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
Earlier this month, Pakistan had declined to attend the event hosted by India. Speaking at a news conference, NSA Dr Moeed Yusuf said: “……I am not going. A spoiler cannot be a peacemaker”.
Dr Yusuf regretted the international community’s silence over human rights violations and Indian state-sponsored terrorism in occupied Kashmir, and New Delhi’s expansionist vision that is leading the region nowhere.
Asked what hurdles Pakistan was facing in the region to achieve peace and progress, the NSA said: “I think the region’s obstacles are in front of you, there is no need for debate on this.”
He said as long as India’s behaviour and ideology remain unchanged, the peace process in the region could not move forward. “The world has unfortunately kept its eyes closed and isn’t talking to India as it should,” he lamented.
He observed that peace and stability in Afghanistan were vital for Pakistan, making it clear that disengagement with Afghanistan was not an option for Pakistan.