China reiterates offer to 'mediate' between India, Pakistan

| Updated: May 08, 2017 21:53 IST

New Delhi [India], May. 8 (ANI): Stressing on the importance of maintaining bilateral ties and reconciliation of India-Pakistan relations, Chinese Ambassador to India Luo Zhaohui said the collective development of India, China and Pakistan will promote regional stability, chalking out a friendly environment with a scope for further progress. Addressing a session at the United Service Institution of India here on May 5, the ambassador suggested China as the mediator between the two nations, under the pre-condition of mutual acceptance by the two parties. "When the Mumbai Terrorist Attack on November 26, 2008, took place, I was Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan, and I did a lot of mediation at that time. On promoting India-Pakistan reconciliation, we hope that both sides could live together in peace, because this is conducive to regional stability in the interests of China," he said. An important factor to be considered for mediation is the USD 46 billion worth agreement signed for the facilitation of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which passes through a portion of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). While Luo dismissed China's intentions to get involved in territorial disputes between India and Pakistan, it voices resolution of the issues through bilateral negotiations between the two countries. The CPEC was proposed for promoting economic cooperation and connectivity, while attempting to modernise infrastructure in Pakistan. Additionally, the ambassador also clarified that the country is not siding either of the two parties, contrary to what was reported by the media. "We always put China first and we deal with problems based on their own merits," said Luo. A combined initiative focusing on enhancing economic cooperation between China and Pakistan, the CPEC is being hailed to create 85,000 jobs for Pakistani youth. It is being facilitated to modernise infrastructure and transport networks in Pakistan through the creation of special economic zones and energy projects. The initial proposal was made in April 2015 during Chinese President Xi Jinping's official state visit to Pakistan. On April 20, 2015, Pakistan and China signed an agreement to commence work on the USD 46 billion agreement, with approximately USD 28 billion worth of fast-tracked projects to be developed by the end of 2018. (ANI)

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