Beijing: China on Wednesday appreciated Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “positive remarks” made during the Raisina Dialogue, but refused to budge from its stand on the issues of NSG and Masood Azhar ban.
Chinese foreign ministry said it is committed to respect India’s core interests, a day after PM Modi said neighboring countries need to show some sensitivity and respect for each other’s core concerns and interests.
However, the Chinese foreign ministry struck to its old stand on Masood Azhar and India’s entry to the Nuclear Suppliers Group and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.
The ministry suggested that the issue of India’s membership to the Nuclear Suppliers’ Group and Masood Azhar, the Pakistan based terrorist, should not be regarded as an obstacle in the relationship between the two countries. China has blocked India’s efforts to get a seat at the NSG and persuade the United Nations to censure Azhar.
“So these two issues should not be stumbling blocks for China-India to develop their relationship. We need to look further and seek common ground to remain and maintain our mutually beneficial cooperation and together seek a solution to these issues,” Hua Chunying, ministry spokesperson said.
She also said that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, which passes through Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, will not affect China’s policy on the Kashmir issue. She hinted but did not spell out that Beijing will continue to regard it as a disputed area instead of assuming that it belongs to Pakistan.
China uses the phrase “core interests” when it discusses issues relating to Dalai Lama’s activities in India, the Tibet and Taiwan matters. The Prime Minister’s use of the same language is aimed to convey to Beijing that Chinese activities which include blocking India’s efforts at NSG and in UN on Masood Azhar. Besides, China is building a road, the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) through Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, which India claims, without considering Indian interests.
The ministry responded saying, “China has been committed to respect the core interests and major concerns of each other and enhancing mutual interest and promoting cooperation”. But Hua went on to say that the issues of NSG and Masood Azhar are “specific issues, and not bilateral ones”.
“For the differences and problems we are clear that we will remain in touch with India and properly manage these differences and resolve them through friendly consultation,” she said. “In his remarks, Prime Minister Modi did not directly mention the CPEC,” Hua pointed out.
“Regarding CPEC, this is a project that is devised for long term development and cooperation in various fields .It is of great significance in regional connectivity and trade cooperation . It is for regional peace and development. It targets no third country and it will not affect China’s position on Kashmir”. The Prime Minister’s references were clear when he mentioned India’s “core interests”.
“Our common interests far outweigh our differences,” Hua said. China will continue to work with India to enhance mutual trust, deepen cooperation and engage friendly dialogue and consultation to manage the differences. China and India are members of BRICS. Good interaction between the two countries is not only important to the countries but-also to the region and to the process of multilateralism, she said.