BEIJING: China on Wednesday called on Pakistan and India to solve their differences over Kashmir, as tensions mount between the nuclear-armed neighbours after an attack killed 18 Indian soldiers in the disputed Himalayan region.
China “hopes that Pakistan and India will strengthen channels for dialogue, appropriately handle any differences, improve bilateral relations and together protect the region’s piece and stability”, a deputy foreign minister told Pakistan’s special envoys to China for Kashmir, according to the foreign ministry website.
The deputy minister, Liu Zhenmin, also told the envoys that China values Pakistan’s position on Kashmir.
China has long been a strong diplomatic, military and economic supporter of Pakistan, and the two call each other “all-weather friends”. Their ties have been underpinned by wariness of their common neighbour, India, with which China fought a brief but bloody border war in 1962.
Tensions between India and Pakistan rose on Tuesday as India’s leader cancelled a visit to a regional summit and Islamabad warned it would treat it as “an act of war” if India revoked a Indus Waters Treaty.
Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz on Tuesday told the Senate that revocation of the Indus Waters Treaty by India “can be taken as an act of war” against Pakistan.
“The Indus Waters Treaty is quoted as perhaps the most successful water treaty ever conducted between the two countries. Its revocation can be taken as an act of war or a hostile act against Pakistan,” Aziz told the lawmakers.
Know more: Cooling down Kashmir
In the wake of rising tensions at borders with India, China has already assured in unequivocal terms its support in case of any foreign aggression and also supported Pakistan’s stance on the Kashmir dispute.
“In case of any [foreign] aggression our country will extend its full support to Pakistan,” Consul General of China in Lahore Yu Boren was quoted as saying by Punjab Chief Minister Office earlier this month.