China attempts to take credit for toning down India-Pakistan tension

China attempts to take credit for toning down India-Pakistan tension

Beijing: China played a ‘constructive role’ in reducing tension between India and Pakistan, the foreign ministry said, after the nuclear-armed rivals almost came to blows last month following a terror attack on a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) convoy in Jammu and Kashmir.

The sparring threatened to spiral out of control and only interventions by US officials, including National Security Adviser John Bolton, headed off a bigger conflict, five sources familiar with the events have told Reuters.

A Pakistani minister said China and the United Arab Emirates also intervened to lessen tension between the south Asian neighbours.

In a faxed statement to Reuters late on Monday, responding to a question on China`s role in reining in the crisis, its foreign ministry said peaceful coexistence between Pakistan and India was in everyone`s interest.

“As a friendly neighbour of both India and Pakistan, China pro-actively promoted peace talks and played a constructive role in easing the tense situation,” it said.

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“Some other countries also made positive efforts in this regard,” the ministry added.

China is willing to work with the international community to continue to encourage the neighbors to meet each other halfway and use dialogue and peaceful means to resolve differences, it said, without elaborating.

The Chinese government`s top diplomat, State Councillor Wang Yi, is set to meet Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi in Beijing later on Tuesday.

The February 14 attack that killed at least 40 security personnel was one of the deadliest in Jammu and Kashmir, rescalating tension between the neighbors.

China and Pakistan call each other “all-weather” friends, but China has also been trying to improve ties with New Delhi.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping had held an informal summit in China last year agreeing to reset relations, and Xi is expected to visit India sometime this year, diplomatic sources say.