China on Thursday signalled that it was actively engaged in defusing tensions between India and Pakistan, using multiple channels, to prevent a spillover of friction between New Delhi and Islamabad in the region. “As for the tension between Pakistan and India, recently Chinese side has been in communication with both sides through different channels,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a media briefing in Beijing. He added: “We hope that Indian and Pakistan can enhance communication and properly deal with differences and work jointly to maintain peace and security of the region.” Mr. Geng was responding to questions on whether the cross-border raid in Uri, in which 18 soldiers were killed, featured during the maiden counter-terrorism and security dialogue that was held between India and China earlier this week. Asked to go into specifics about the level of its official engagement with the two countries, Mr. Geng said that Beijing maintains contacts at different levels with both India and Pakistan.
“China is a friendly neighbour to India and Pakistan. China hopes that both the countries could properly deal with their differences [through] dialogue and consultation and improve their bilateral relationship, strengthen cooperation in different fields and work jointly for regional peace and development and stability,” he observed. On Wednesday, China’s Deputy Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin told Pakistan’s special envoys to China for Kashmir, which Beijing “hopes that Pakistan and India will strengthen channels for dialogue, appropriately handle any differences, improve bilateral relations and together protect the region’s peace and stability.” It is for direct Indo-Pak talks. China has so far persisted with its established formulation that India and Pakistan need to talk directly to resolve their differences, including Jammu and Kashmir.