China said on Saturday that the Kashmir dispute between India and Pakistan was left over from history and should be resolved as per the UN resolutions while avoiding any unilateral action.
Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang arrived in Pakistan on Friday for a two-day visit, which is his first trip to the country. He co-chaired a meeting with his Pakistani counterpart Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Saturday. The two sides issued a joint statement at the conclusion of the 4th round of the ‘Pakistan-China Strategic Dialogue’ in Islamabad.
According to the statement, the entire range of bilateral relations and cooperation, including in political, strategic, economic, defence security, education and cultural domains was reviewed while regional and global issues of mutual interest were also discussed during the dialogue.
It stated that both sides underscored the importance of maintaining peace and stability in South Asia and the need for the resolution of all outstanding disputes.
“The Chinese side reiterated that the Kashmir dispute was left over from history between India and Pakistan and should be properly and peacefully resolved in accordance with the UN Charter, relevant Security Council resolutions and bilateral agreements.
“Both sides opposed any unilateral actions that further complicate the already volatile situation,” according to the statement.
India has previously criticised China and Pakistan for their unwarranted references to the Indian Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
“We have consistently rejected such statements and all parties concerned are well aware of our clear position on these matters. The Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir and the Union Territory of Ladakh are and always will be integral and inalienable parts of India. No other country has locus standi to comment on the same,” the Ministry of External Affairs said last year when the two close allies mentioned the Kashmir issue in a joint statement.
China and Pakistan also agreed on continuing their enduring support on issues concerning each other’s core national interests, the joint statement said.
“Reaffirming Pakistan’s special place in China’s neighbourhood diplomacy, the Chinese side reiterated its firm support for Pakistan’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, as well as its unity, stability, and economic prosperity,” it read.
The Pakistani side reiterated its commitment to the “One China” policy as well as its firm support to China on all core issues of its national interest, including Taiwan, Xinjiang, Tibet, Hong Kong and the South China Sea.
“Reaffirming their commitment to high-quality development of CPEC, both sides noted with satisfaction the steady progress of CPEC projects,” according to the statement.
Both sides reiterated that CPEC is an open and inclusive platform for win-win cooperation and invited third parties to maximise benefits from it.
The two sides reviewed the progress of various projects at Gwadar and reiterated their resolve to turn the region into a high-quality port and a hub for trade and connectivity.
The two foreign ministers underlined that Pakistan-China friendship was a historic reality and a conscious choice of the two nations, the statement said.
The Pakistani side expressed gratitude to the Chinese side for its economic and financial support and its generous assistance package for post-flood reconstruction and rehabilitation.
The two sides reiterated their firm resolve to counter terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, it said.
The Chinese side appreciated the measures taken by Pakistan to ensure enhanced security of Chinese projects, personnel and institutions in Pakistan, as well as the steps are taken to apprehend and bring to justice the perpetrators targeting Chinese nationals in Dasu, Karachi and other attacks, it added.
The two sides agreed to further build on the cooperation in security and counter-terrorism domains.
The two sides underscored the need for the international community to provide continued assistance and support to Afghanistan including through unfreezing of the country’s overseas financial assets.