Beijing: China on Friday called on India and Pakistan to resolve their disputes through dialogue and negotiation as Pakistan Foreign Minister arrived here to seek Beijing’s support after New Delhi revoked the special status to Jammu and Kashmir. Informed sources here said Shah Mahmood Qureshi is in Beijing to seek all-weather ally China’s support for Pakistan’s efforts to ratchet-up the Kashmir issue.
Lijian Zhao, a senior Chinese diplomat in Pakistan, wrote on Twitter that Qureshi would meet State Counsellor and Foreign Minister of China Wang Yi and other Chinese leaders.”The visit was arranged in a very short time. That’s why we are called iron brothers,” he wrote.
Tensions between India and Pakistan spiralled after New Delhi revoked Article 370 to withdraw the special status to Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcated the region into two Union Territories—Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh. Pakistan termed the Indian action as “unilateral and illegal”, and said it will take the matter to the UN Security Council. Pakistan also decided to downgrade the diplomatic relations by expelling the Indian High Commissioner and recalling its own top envoy from India.
Reacting to questions about Pakistan’s decision to downgrade the diplomatic ties and approach the UNSC, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said, “China has noted the relevant statement by Pakistan”.”We call on Pakistan and India to resolve disputes through dialogue and negotiation and jointly uphold regional peace and stability,” it said in a written response circulated to the media here.
“The pressing priority is that the relevant party should stop unilaterally changing the status quo and avoid escalation of tension,” China said without directly referring to India’s decision to revoke article 370. China on 6 August objected to the formation of Ladakh as Union Territory by India, saying it undermined its territorial sovereignty.
Qureshi’s visit comes ahead of External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar’s three-day trip here starting from 11 August during which he is scheduled to hold wide-ranging talks with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi. S Jaishankar visit, the first by an Indian minister to China after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government commenced its second term, has been scheduled earlier. Both Jaishankar and Wang would hold the 2nd India-China People-to-People exchange mechanism and address the 4th India-China Media Summit Forum on 12 August.