China on Friday asked both India and Pakistan to "properly handle" their relations in the aftermath of the Mumbai terror attacks, saying that "stable, peaceful and sound" ties between them was key to regional peace and stability.
"China hopes that India and Pakistan, both important neighbours of China, would bear in mind regional peace and stability, properly handle related issues through dialogue and consultations, and continue to improve their relations and to push forward the peace process between the two countries," Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said during separate telephonic talks with his Indian and Pakistani counterparts.
"China holds that stable, peaceful and sound ties between India and Pakistan are in the fundamental interests of both countries and peoples and at the same time are the common aspiration of the international community," Yang was quoted as saying by the official Xinhua news agency.
Yang said that China opposes any form of terrorism and is willing to work with India, Pakistan and the rest of the international community to jointly safeguard peace and security in the South Asian region.
According to the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Yang spoke to Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Thursday and to his Indian counterpart, Pranab Mukherjee on Friday.
Yang reiterated China's strong condemnation of the attacks, noting that both India and Pakistan have voiced their determination to combat terrorism.
During the conversations, Yang and the two ministers spoke highly of the sound development of China-India and China-Pakistan relations in the outgoing year and vowed to make concerted efforts in 2009 to score new achievements in bilateral relations.