China calls for de-escalation in South Asia

Says all outstanding disputes must be resolved through dialogue


Our Correspondent March 19, 2019
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi calls on Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan in Beijing. PHOTO COURTESY: RADIO PAKISTAN

ISLAMABAD: China on Tuesday called for de-escalation of tensions in South Asia and resolution of all outstanding disputes through dialogue at the end of the China-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue.

The strategic dialogue, held in Beijing, was co-chaired by State Councilor and Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi and Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi.

According to a statement issued by the Foreign Office, the two sides undertook in-depth talks on all aspects of bilateral relations, including the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), trade, investment and economic cooperation, people-to-people contacts and regional and international issues.

The two foreign ministers reaffirmed their “time-tested and All-Weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership” and agreed to maintain regular two-way high-level political and official exchanges.

They expressed commitment to translate the vision of the leadership to build a closer China-Pakistan community of shared future in the new era.

The two sides reaffirmed support to each other on all core issues of their national interest. They said state sovereignty and territorial integrity are cardinal principles of the UN Charter and international law.

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Foreign Minister Wang Yi called for de-escalation of tensions in South Asia and underlined the need for dialogue and peaceful means to resolve all outstanding disputes.

China is thought to have played a key role in defusing the tensions between Pakistan and India after both were on the brink of a war in the wake of February 14 Pulwama attack and the Indian violation of Pakistan’s airspace on February 26.

The two sides also agreed to further intensify cooperation with regular meetings of all bilateral mechanisms to take forward practical cooperation in respective fields.

They agreed to strengthen people-to-people contacts, cultural cooperation and tourism. It was noted that China and Pakistan are celebrating 2019 as the year of sister-cities exchanges.

The two sides reaffirmed commitment to CPEC and agreed to continue the smooth implementation of corridor projects, especially its Special Economic Zones. While rejecting the negative propaganda against CPEC, they expressed a strong resolve to safeguard CPEC from all kinds of threats.

They agreed to enhance cooperation against terror by strengthening communication and coordination in relevant fields. The Chinese side highly appreciated Pakistan’s commitment and efforts to counter terrorism. Qureshi also expressed appreciation for Chinese support for Pakistan’s efforts.

The two foreign ministers discussed the situation in Afghanistan and expressed support for the ongoing efforts for peace and reconciliation.

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Both sides reiterated support for an Afghan-owned Afghan-led inclusive peace process and called on all stakeholders in Afghanistan to become part of an intra-Afghan dialogue. They also urged all sides to show flexibility to find a durable solution to the Afghan conflict.

The two sides agreed to continue their mutual collaboration at the regional multilateral and international forums. They expressed their support for consensus-based reform of the UN so that it responds to the interests and concerns of all member states.

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