Beijing: China on Friday said India and Pakistan should peacefully settle the Kashmir issue and other disputes through dialogue and expressed its support to the international community, including the US, in playing a “constructive role” to improve the Indo-Pak ties.
China’s reaction came after US President Donald Trump on Monday offered to be the “mediator” between India and Pakistan on the Kashmir issue during his meeting with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan at the White House.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said “as a neighbour to both Pakistan and India, China sincerely hopes that Pakistan and India can live in harmony”.
“We hope the two countries can peacefully settle the Kashmir issue and other bilateral disputes through dialogue, and make concerted efforts to safeguard peace and stability in South Asia,” Hua said in a guarded reaction.
Trump, who is known to make inaccurate statements, claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked him to mediate on the Kashmir issue during the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan.
“We support the international community, the US included, in playing a constructive role in improving Pakistan-India relations through dialogue,” Hua was quoted as saying by the Associated Press of Pakistan (APP), the official news agency of Pakistan.
India has denied Trump’s claim and said Modi made no such request and Kashmir is a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has refuted that Prime Minister Modi ever made the request to Trump.
“I would like to categorically assure the House that no such request has been made by the Prime Minister to the US President. I repeat, no such request was made by the Prime Minister to the US President,” he said in a statement to Parliament.
After Trump’s remarks, the US State Department, in a damage control effort, later said it considered Kashmir a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan and was ready to help only if the two countries wanted.
Over the years, China’s official stand on Kashmir has been that it is an issue left over by history and should be properly addressed by India and Pakistan through consultation and negotiations.