China on Tuesday assured Pakistan of support for its territorial integrity “no matter how things change in the world and the region”, the Hindustan Times reported. Foreign Minister Wang Yi made the statement at the first-ever foreign minister-level strategic dialogue with his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi in Beijing.

China promised to uphold Pakistan’s sovereign independence and territorial integrity. Wang’s statements follow Beijing’s acknowledgment that it was engaged in mediation efforts between India and Pakistan after the Pulwama attack on February 14.

The Chinese foreign minister said “a peaceful and stable South Asia” is in everyone’s best interests.

Meanwhile, Qureshi thanked China for standing by Pakistan in “these difficult times”. He told reporters that he had briefed Wang about the “rapidly deteriorating situation on the Indian side of Kashmir, intensification of human rights violations, especially after Pulwama”.

On March 14, China had blocked the United Nations Security Council’s move to designate Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad’s chief Masood Azhar a global terrorist. The terror outfit had claimed responsibility for the Pulwama attack.