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Must respect sovereignty, territorial integrity of nations: China to Pakistan in late night call

The conversation took place against the backdrop of Pakistan violating Indian airspace on Wednesday morning. India has described the violation as an unsuccessful attempt to target military installations

india Updated: Feb 28, 2019 13:42 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis
Sutirtho Patranobis
The sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries should be respected, Chinese foreign minister told his Pakistani counterpart, Shah Mahmood Qureshi.(REUTERS)


The sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries should be respected, Chinese foreign minister, Wang Yi has told his Pakistani counterpart, Shah Mahmood Qureshi.

Responding to an “urgent” late night phone call from Qureshi, Wang “…stressed that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries should be respected,” China’s foreign ministry said in a statement in Chinese.

The statement quoted Wang, who is also a state councillor, as saying “…China is unwilling to see acts that violate the norms of international relations”.

The conversation took place against the backdrop of Pakistan violating Indian airspace on Wednesday morning. New Delhi has described the violation as an unsuccessful attempt to target military installations. A combat air patrol team of the Indian Air Force had foiled the attempt and shot down a Pak F-16. One IAF fighter, a MiG 21 Bison, was also shot down. The IAF pilot is in the custody of Pakistani authorities.

A day earlier, India had carried out precision strikes on a Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terror camp across the Line of Control with Pakistan in Balakot.

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Wang and Qureshi spoke hours after foreign minister Sushma Swaraj left China after the day-long meeting of the foreign ministers of Russia, India, and China.

In the joint statement issued after the meet, the three countries strongly condemned terrorism and said the three sides “stressed that terrorist groups cannot be supported and used in political and geopolitical goals”.

They said “those committing, orchestrating, inciting or supporting terrorist acts must be held accountable and brought to justice in accordance with existing international commitments on countering terrorism”, including the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, Security Council resolutions and FATF standards. This action should be taken on the principle “extradite or prosecute”, they added.

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Swaraj made a strong pitch for concerted international efforts to combat terror. She said she raised the Pulwama attack during meetings with her Russian and Chinese counterparts.

She said, “We need a global strategy, global cooperation to counter terrorism. I am happy to tell you today we discussed the establishment of a UN-led global counter-terrorism mechanism and finalising CCIT (Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism) proposed by India.”

During the phone conversation with Wang on Wednesday night, Qureshi said he hoped that “…China would continue to play a constructive role in easing the current tension,” the MFA statement said.

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“Wang Yi expressed deep concern about the escalation of tension between Pakistan and India,” it added.

“He briefed Qureshi on China’s efforts to persuade and facilitate talks, and reiterated his hope that both sides would exercise restraint and earnestly fulfill their commitments to prevent the situation from escalating,” the statement added.

First Published: Feb 28, 2019 11:56 IST