China played constructive role in reducing India-Pakistan tensions: Chinese envoy
China’s foreign ministry had acknowledged last month that the country played a role in reducing tensions after India and Pakistan came close to firing missiles at each other on February 27.Updated: Apr 10, 2019 22:23 IST
China promoted dialogue and played a “constructive role” in easing tensions between India and Pakistan in the aftermath of the February 14 terror attack in Kashmir, according to Chinese envoy Luo Zhaohui.
Beijing also “attaches importance” to India’s concerns related to the listing of Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar at the UN’s Islamic State and al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee and will strengthen communication to find a “proper solution”, Luo has written in the Chinese embassy’s official magazine.
China’s foreign ministry had acknowledged last month that the country played a “constructive role” in reducing tensions after India and Pakistan came dangerously close to firing missiles at each other on February 27, as reported by Hindustan Times. At that time, tensions were at a peak after an Indian combat jet was shot down in an engagement along the Line of Control and its pilot, Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, was captured and briefly held by Pakistan.
In an article titled “Script a new chapter in China-India tango”, Luo writes about enhanced efforts to manage differences in the region, including the India-Pakistan tensions that attracted the world community’s attention.
“China has actively promoted peaceful dialogue and played a constructive role in easing the tension,” Luo writes.
Without naming Masood Azhar, the envoy adds: “On the issue of listing in the 1267 Committee of the UN Security Council, China attaches importance to and understands India’s concerns and is willing to strengthen communication with India to find a proper solution.
“We believe that China-India relations are mature enough to see the differences are properly managed, and maintain sound and stable growth.”
Privately, Indian and Chinese officials acknowledge that last year’s informal summit at Wuhan between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping helped put the bilateral relationship on an even keel while creating space to address several irritants, including the border dispute, India’s bid to join the Nuclear Suppliers Group and the listing of Azhar.
Referring to this aspect, Luo writes that the “current momentum in China-India relations has not been achieved easily, and therefore should be cherished more than ever”.
Pointing to the 2017 military standoff at Doklam or Donglang, he adds: “The relationship has gone from a stormy phase with the Donglang incident, plunging the relations to a low point to the current positive situation ushered in by the Wuhan informal summit, which set out the direction for the future development of the relationship.”
The two countries should continue to implement the “strategic consensus” reached by Modi and Xi by keeping up the “warmth of bilateral relations”, raising the speed of cooperation in different fields, increasing people-to-people exchanges and increasing efforts to manage differences, he writes.
However, he adds the development of India-China ties “is like rowing against the current” and the two sides need to maintain the momentum and make preparations for the second informal summit expected to be held this year.
In the field of trade, Luo suggests the two sides should sign free trade and investment protection pacts, “address trade deficit from an institutional perspective” and cooperate on major projects such as the Delhi-Agra high speed railway and regional connectivity under the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar forum.
First Published: Apr 10, 2019 22:22 IST