China said on Monday it was “shocked” by the attack on an Indian Army base at Uri in Kashmir over the weekend even as it expressed concern over the escalation of violence in the region.
In an unusually detailed reaction to the terror attack and the violence in Kashmir, the foreign ministry urged India and Pakistan – China’s close strategic ally -- to resolve outstanding issues through negotiations.
The foreign ministry also indicated that the Chinese government was worried about the status of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which passes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), because of the security situation in the region.
Foreign ministry spokesperson Lu Kang, when asked to react to the Uri attack, said: “We have noted relevant reports. We are shocked by this attack.
“We want to express our deep sympathies and condolences to the effected families and the injured,” Lu said.
He reiterated China’s concern about the situation in Kashmir, describing it as an “escalation”.
“China opposes and strongly condemns all forms of terrorism. We are concerned about this escalation and rising temperatures surrounding Kashmir situation,” Lu said.
He added: “We hope relevant parties will have dialogue and consultation to resolve their differences and enhance counter-terrorism cooperation. Only this way can they safeguard peace and security in their region.”
This was the second time the Chinese government has reacted to the situation in Kashmir. It had expressed concern over mounting casualties in the unrest in Kashmir in a statement issued in July.
Referring to the CPEC, Lu reiterated the Chinese government’s position - it is a project aimed at driving development.
India has repeatedly raised its concerns about CPEC with China, the last being at the G20 Summit in China earlier this month when Prime Minister Narendra Modi raised it with President Xi Jinping and said it passes through PoK.
“The building of the corridor is to drive the development of the regional countries. It needs the concerted efforts of all countries concerned to ensure the smooth running of this corridor.”
Unusually, Lu talked about the security situation in the region.
“At the same time I need to stress that recently in this region, especially in Kashmir region, there has been some escalation of tensions,” he said.
“Our position is that we hope all relevant parties can work together and remain committed to resolving these disputes through peaceful consultations and jointly maintain the peace and stability of the region. This in final analysis is conducive and will bring benefits to China, India, Pakistan and all the regional countries.”
In July, China had said that the Kashmir issue was “left over from history”.