China played a constructive role in easing tension between India and Pakistan, Chinese Ambassador Luo Zhaohui has said, in a reference to heightened hostilities between the two countries following the Pulwama attack.
On India’s push to designate Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist, the envoy said China attaches importance to it and is willing to strengthen communication with New Delhi to find a “proper solution” to it.
The Chinese envoy touched upon a range of issues, including contentious ones, in a write-up published in a Chinese embassy journal titled China-India review. “The recent tension between India and Pakistan has drawn broad attention from the international community. China has actively promoted peaceful dialogue and played a constructive role in easing the tension,” Luo wrote, without elaborating.
The Pulwama terror attack, claimed by Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), escalated tension between the two nuclear-armed neighbours and even sparked fears of a full-blown conflict.
On February 26, India carried out an aerial strike on a training camp of the JeM in Pakistan’s Balakot. Pakistan retaliated the next day by unsuccessfully attempting to target Indian military installations.
After the Pulwama attack, a fresh proposal to designate Azhar under the 1267 Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee of the UN Security Council was moved by France, the UK and the US.
However, China blocked the bid by putting a technical hold on the proposal.
“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,” the Chinese envoy said.
He said China-India relations are mature enough to see that the differences are properly managed.
Referring to the Doklam episode, Luo said bilateral ties had reached a “stormy phase” and plunged into a “low point”, but the situation improved following last year’s Wuhan summit between President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
He said the summit had a far-reaching impact in bringing the ties into the “fast lane” with “higher quality and greater speed”.
“The development of China-India relations is like rowing against the current,” he said, adding the two sides should focus on fully implementing the consensus reached between Modi and Xi, and make preparations for the second informal summit.