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China backs “continuous dialogue” between India, Pakistan
December 26, 2015, 8:54 am

In a rare show of friendship India Prime Minister Narendra Modi (right) with his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif in Lahore, Pakistan on 25 December [Xinhua]

In a rare show of friendship India Prime Minister Narendra Modi (right) walks along side his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif in Lahore, Pakistan on 25 December [Xinhua]

China on Saturday said it supports “continuous dialogue” between India and Pakistan and has welcomed the meeting between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif.

“The Chinese side has noticed the report and welcomes the latest development in the Pakistan-India relationship,” China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said in Beijing.

On Friday, Modi made an unexpected stop in Pakistan on his way to New Delhi from a visit to Afghanistan. During Modi’s surprise visit, the two prime ministers met at Sharif’s residence in the Pakistani city of Lahore.

India and Pakistan in August this year formally called off talks to deescalate tensions.

Just hours before the scheduled arrival of the Pakistani National Security Advisor in New Delhi, Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj had announced in a press conference that India is only willing to discuss “terrorism” and not “all-outstanding issues” that Pakistan was pushing for.

Swaraj had also warned that the talks were a non-starter if Pakistani officials would hold meetings with Kashmiri separatists. Several insurgent groups have been fighting since 1989 for Kashmir’s independence from India or its merger with Pakistan.

The first-ever NSA-level talks was agreed upon in July in the Russian city of Ufa during a meeting between the prime ministers of India and Pakistan on the sidelines of the 7th BRICS Summit.

Meanwhile, on Friday, Modi met Nawaz Sharif and discussed “bilateral ties”.

“The Indian Prime Minister visits PM Sharif’s home in a special gesture, where his grand-daughter’s wedding is being held,” Indian External Affairs spokesperson Vikas Swaroop tweeted.

This was Modi’s first visit to Pakistan and the first by an Indian prime minister in 12 years.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry on Saturday said Pakistan and India are important countries in south Asia, and the improvement of their relationship will be significant to regional peace, stability and development.

“As the common neighbor and friend of both Pakistan and India, China is happy to see and will support, as always, Pakistan and India to enhance mutual trust and achieve common development through continuous dialogue,” said the spokesman.

China has growing economic ties with both India and Pakistan.

Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has also referred to the burgeoning trade and investment ties between India and China.

“India-China trade has increased significantly. Trade has brought the two countries much closer… We have some contentious issues of the past between us, but even while those issues would be resolved in the due course, I think our economic relations have become a symbol of strength and therefore mutual investments in each other’s country will be a win-win situation for both of us,” Jaitley said earlier this year in Shanghai.

New Delhi and Beijing have set a target to reach $100 billion in bilateral trade by 2015.

“China had been a significant contributor to the global growth in the past decade,” the Indian Finance Minister said in September.

“Great economies do compete with each other and that does not mean they become opponents,” he said while facing media questions on the ‘rivalry’ between the two neighbours.

China and Pakistan last week signed a financing agreement on a more than $2 billion coal power project located in the Thar Coalfield in Pakistan’s Sindh province. During Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Pakistan earlier this year, both countries inked new pacts including port construction, transport infrastructure, energy and industry.

Tension between the neighbours has risen since the Indian prime minister, Narendra Modi, called off peace talks in August and clashes along stretches of the Indo-Pak border have been erupting intermittently since October last year.

Mistrust between India and Pakistan is a factor behind conflict in various parts of the region, including Afghanistan.

India and Pakistan have fought two wars over Kashmir since they won independence from Britain in 1947.


TBP and Agencies

One Response to China backs “continuous dialogue” between India, Pakistan

  1. vishaal Reply

    December 28, 2015 at 3:22 pm

    Indian Primeminister moving out of coverage area that means not informing without any prior schedule, making opposition parties, media in a confusion state without meaningful steps.

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