China has asked India and Pakistan to move on from the recent confrontation to bring stability in the region. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that India and Pakistan should “quickly turn the page” and convert the present tensions into “an opportunity for the long term improvement” in their relations, the Indian news agency Press Trust of India (PTI) reported.
“China hopes Pakistan and India will transform the crisis into opportunity and meet each other halfway,” Wang said.
The Chinese statement came after its Vice Foreign Minister Kong Xuanyou visited Pakistan to hold discussions with its Prime Minister Imran Khan and Army Chief Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa on the recent India-Pakistan tension.
Tensions between India and Pakistan escalated after a car bomb attack killed at least 40 Indian paramilitary personnel in the disputed Kashmir region on Feb. 14.
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On Feb. 26, India launched airstrikes inside Pakistan claiming that its air forces neutralized “large number of Jaish-e-Muhammad [JeM] terrorists”. JeM is alleged to have carried out the Feb. 14 attack.
However, Pakistan Air Force retaliated the next morning and downed two Indian Air Force jets and captured one of its pilots, who was returned to India — as a gesture of peace — on March 1.
Wang said that China stressed from the beginning the need to exercise restraint to prevent escalation and resolve the matter through dialogue. “Beijing tried to play a mediatory role.”
The Chinese foreign minister insisted that “in the meantime, countries’ sovereignty and territorial integrity should be fully respected”.
“China followed these principles in its mediation and played a constructive role in defusing the tension,” he said.
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China also welcomed the desire Pakistan and India showed recently to de-escalate the situation and start talks, Wang added. On the post-Wuhan summit between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Wang said that China wants to “develop closer ties with India and forge ahead like the ‘Yangtze and Ganges’ rivers despite Beijing’s all-weather ties with Pakistan”.
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