China defends Pakistan against Modi’s ‘terror export factory’ remark
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China defends Pakistan against Modi’s ‘terror export factory’ remark

The Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson said Pakistan must be supported in the fight against “terrorism”.

world Updated: Apr 21, 2018 09:20 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis
Sutirtho Patranobis
Hindustan Times, Beijing
Prime Minister Narendra Modi in London had flayed Pakistan for supporting terrorism and spoke on surgical strikes.(Reuters/File Photo)

China on Friday defended Pakistan following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remarks that the country is a “terror export factory” but indicated terrorism will be on the agenda when Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) members meet in Beijing next week.

The Chinese foreign ministry said the world community should support Pakistan’s counter-terror efforts but noted that security is a priority for the SCO and “relevant topics” will be discussed when members of the bloc, including India and Pakistan, meet next week.

External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj and defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman are flying to Beijing over the weekend to participate in separate meetings of the SCO foreign and defence ministers ahead of the grouping’s summit in coastal Qingdao city in June, which will be attended by Modi.

Asked about Modi’s comments, foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said: “Terrorism is an enemy faced by all. The international community should work together to combat terrorism. The international community should also support the efforts of Pakistan in fighting terrorism and cooperate with it.”

In response to another question on whether terrorism will be on the agenda at next week’s meeting, she said, “As for the foreign ministers’ meeting on terrorism, I believe it is a purpose of the SCO to promote relevant cooperation in the field.”

Hua added, “Security has been a priority of the SCO since its inception. So the upcoming Prime Minister’s SCO meeting will see participants exchanging views on the relevant issues. All participants will uphold the SCO spirit to take forward the development of SCO.”

During an interaction with the Indian diaspora in London this week, Modi referred to Pakistan as a “terror export factory” and said New Delhi’s 2016 surgical strikes along the Line of Control were aimed at sending a clear message to Islamabad.

“We believe in peace. But we will not tolerate those who like to export terror. We will give strong answers and in the language they understand. Terrorism will never be accepted,” Modi added.

During her stay in Beijing, Swaraj is expected to interact with the foreign ministers of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Pakistan. India and Pakistan were admitted to the China-led bloc last year.

At a SCO-related meeting in the Russian city of Sochi in December – when India participated as a full-member for the first time – Swaraj had said terror cannot and should not be associated with any religion. She had urged the world community to enhance cooperation to combat terror, which is a “crime against the entire humanity”.

First Published: Apr 20, 2018 15:10 IST