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July 24, 2024
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Defusing India-Pakistan tensions highlight of China’s diplomacy in 2019, says top diplomat Wang Yi

Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi on Tuesday highlighted China’s efforts in defusing tensions between India and Pakistan earlier this year as one of Beijing’s key mediation efforts of 2019 to maintain peace and stability in the neighbourhood.

Wang discussed China’s diplomacy in 2019 during an interview with People’s Daily, mouthpiece of the ruling Communist Party of China. The interview was released to the media by the Chinese foreign ministry.

“During the India-Pakistan conflict, China supported the efforts of the two sides to defuse tensions and manage differences through dialogue,” Wang, who is also one of China’s State Councillors, said.

Wang was referring to tensions between New Delhi and Islamabad which escalated in February following a terror attack on a bus carrying paramilitary troopers in Pulwama in Kashmir that killed 40 personnel. Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed had claimed responsibility for the attack.

India retaliated by conducting an airstrike on a JeM camp in Pakistan, which was followed by a dogfight between the air forces of the two countries.

China then dispatched its vice foreign minister Kong Xuanyou to Pakistan in the first week of March to bring down the tensions.

Wang himself had said that both parties should “…quickly turn the page and seek a fundamental long-term improvement in their relations”.

“When confrontation gives way to dialogue and disagreements are settled by goodwill, they can create a better future through cooperation,” he had said.

China had then stressed the need for India and Pakistan to “exercise calm and restraint, prevent an escalation, find out what has happened and resolve the matter through dialogue”.

Wang said the second informal summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping, held in Chennai in October, mapped the course for better bilateral ties between the two countries.

“President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Narendra Modi had a successful second summit in Chennai and charted the course for the steady growth of China-India relations,” he said.

“On Afghanistan, as part of its shuttle diplomacy, China has facilitated the intra-Afghan dialogue and the China-Afghanistan-Pakistan and the China-Russia-US consultation, and hosted the first China-Russia-US-Pakistan four-party meeting,” Wang said.

“China has served as a mediator between Myanmar and Bangladesh to encourage a negotiated solution to their outstanding issues,” he said.

The Chinese minister hailed the country’s role in world diplomacy in 2019, saying that Beijing led the world on the international diplomacy stage. “We have spearheaded global governance and actively mediated various regional issues,” he said.

“On the complex international stage, China has become a true pillar of world peace and stability and a key engine for global development and prosperity,” he said.

While Wang also addressed diplomatic ties with major powers like the US, Russia, the European Union and Japan, he was sharp in his criticism of Washington.
Wang blamed the US for taking a “string of actions” to “obstruct and repress China in trade, science and technology, and said it had been “meddling in a series of issues concerning China’s territorial integrity and sovereignty and smearing China.”

“The US actions not only undermined the mutual trust that the two sides built over four decades, but also swayed stability and development of the whole world,” the minister said.

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