Closely watching the situation, says China’s defence ministry on Indo-Pak
China’s defence ministry on Thursday said it was closely following the escalation of tension between India and Pakistan over the past two days and urged both countries to remain restrained.
Reacting for the first time since Indian and Pakistani aircraft became involved in cross-border operations this week, the ministry spokesperson said both countries need to handle the situation through dialogue.
“We have taken note of the relevant trends and paid close attention to developments,” spokesperson Colonel Ren Guoqiang said at the monthly defence ministry press conference on Thursday.
Ren said peace between India and Pakistan is conducive to regional peace, stability and development.
“We hope that the two sides will exercise restraint and properly handle relevant issues through dialogue and consultation to prevent further escalation of the situation,” Ren said responding to question about military conflicts in neighbouring countries.
Answering a second question on whether China will issue an alert if the situation between India and Pakistan deteriorates, Ren said it was important that both sides should exercise restraint.
“Regarding the current conflict between India and Pakistan, we believe that it is imperative that both sides should exercise restraint, properly handle relevant issues through dialogue and consultation, and take effective measures to prevent further escalation of the conflict,” Ren said.
China and Pakistan consider each other “iron brothers” and both have close military and strategic ties.
In fact, the air forces of the two countries have close ties and, according to a PTI report, in 2016 jointly “launched the production of a new variant of the JF-17B ‘Thunder’ multi- role combat jet to be inducted into Pakistan Air Force..” by April next year to enhance its operational capabilities, media reported today.
“The production of the first prototype of JF-17B aircraft was initiated by both the countries at an induction ceremony held in Chengdu Aerospace Corporation in southwestern Sichuan province’s Chengdu city,” news reports said.
Last December, China dismissed as untrue a US media report that alleged that it has hatched a secret plan to build fighter jets and other military hardware in Pakistan as part of the $60 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project, the flagship project of President Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).