China has expressed support for Pakistan’s “efforts to improve” bilateral ties with India through dialogue and cooperation, PTI reported on Sunday. Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan is on a visit to China and held discussions with President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang in Beijing on Sunday.
“China appreciates Pakistan’s quest for peace through dialogue, cooperation and negotiation, on the basis of mutual respect and equality, and supports Pakistan’s efforts for improvement of Pakistan-India relations and for settlement of outstanding disputes between the two countries,” said a joint statement issued after the meetings.
During his visit, Khan sought China’s help to overcome the financial crisis his country faces. While China said it would extend the necessary support, it has not officially confirmed any funding so far. The two sides also signed 15 agreements on a range of bilateral issues.
China expressed its support for Pakistan’s bid to secure membership to the Nuclear Suppliers Group even as it continues to block New Delhi’s bid to enter the group. The group is an elite nuclear club that oversees and regulates global trade in nuclear material and equipment. China has been blocking India’s entry into the 48-member group as India is not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Beijing’s refusal has been a stumbling block in bilateral ties.
“The two sides reaffirmed their commitment to multilateral, non-discriminatory arms control and non-proliferation endeavours,” the joint statement said. “They noted with concern the continued pursuit of double standards in the application of non-proliferation norms and procedures and called for policies upholding rule of law and long-standing rules.”
China also praised Pakistan for fighting terrorism and said it recognised Islamabad’s efforts in strengthening financial rules to combat terrorism financing. “Both sides agreed to further enhance cooperation against ‘Three Evils’ of extremism, terrorism and separatism,” said the statement.
In September, New Delhi cancelled a proposed meeting in New York between the foreign ministers of India and Pakistan, prompting condemnation from Imran Khan. The prime minister later said that he will resume efforts to improve relations with India after the 2019 General Elections.