China defends ally Pakistan as SCO considers terror treaty

China’s Assistant Foreign Minister on Monday said “one country alone cannot tackle terrorism”, mounting a defence of “all weather” ally Pakistan after Afghanistan pointed the finger at its neighbour for last week’s deadly bomb blast in Kabul.

While a regional treaty on combating terrorism and extremism is on the agenda this week at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Astana on June 8, when India and Pakistan will formally join the Eurasian security grouping, Beijing has come to the defence of its under-fire ally after Kabul, which is an SCO observer state, strongly hit out at Pakistan following last week’s bombing that left at least 90 people dead.

The Afghan government said early findings from an investigation showed the blast was carried out by the Taliban-linked Haqqani network with “direct coordination” by Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence (ISI). Pakistan has denied the charge.


Asked about Kabul’s allegations ahead of this week’s SCO summit, Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Li Huilai said, “China strongly condemns these violent terrorist incidents. We oppose all forms of terrorism and at present the international community has agreed on a broad consensus of all parties.”

“To tackle present threats posed by terrorism is not something one country or one party can successfully do,” he added when asked about Pakistan’s role. “The international community should step up cooperation and work together to jointly tackle the threat of terrorism. China stands willing to work together with other parties bilaterally and multilaterally and step up cooperation and take all necessary measures to jointly protect respective countries, regional security, stability and development.”

Li said an SCO treaty on combating terrorism and formalising India’s and Pakistan’s entry into the six member security grouping were on the agenda for the summit in Astana. The group’s current members are China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzebekistan.

Li said China welcomed India’s addition to the grouping which would make it more representative with it now representing more than half the world’s population.

A bilateral meeting between Prime Minister Modi and China’s President Xi Jinping is being discussed, on the sidelines of the summit. Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is also expected to attend the Astana summit.


Li didn’t say if an India-China bilateral had been confirmed but said both leaders “have (already) had multiple meetings and both leaders have agreed on deepening China India cooperation, and making joint efforts to build an even closer development partnership”.

“China and India are each other’s important neighbouring countries and both are developing rapidly. They are both emerging new market economies and are both important forces for upholding world peace and stability. In recent years relations between India and China are developing soundly and in quite fast speed,” he said.

Their likely meeting comes amid recent strains in ties, with India boycotting the May 14 Belt and Road Forum in Beijing with concerns over Xi’s pet initiative.

Both sides have also differed on India’s accession to the Nuclear Suppliers Group, which is set to hold an annual plenary this month.

“About the NSG issue, it is more complicated than we previously imagined,” Li acknowledged. “China supports the NSG to have thorough consultations for a non-discriminatory and universally applicable solution applicable to all countries.”

“China is willing to work with the Indian side,” Li said, “to constantly deepen political mutual trust expand win-win cooperation and contribute to regional and world peace stability and development.”






Source:- India today


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