We don't regard Islamabad as a counterweight to New Delhi, says Chinese official

A senior member of the Chinese Foreign Ministry's Advisory Group has proposed that China and India cooperate for the stability of Pakistan in the present circumstances.

The Ministry's Foreign Policy Advisory Group Member, Wu Jianmin, told The Hindu here his intention was to “present this idea to the Chinese government in due course.” He said this on the sidelines of a conference on “the role of the media in India-China relations,” organised by the Singapore-based Institute of Southeast Asian Studies and its Nalanda Sriwijaya Centre, the National University of Singapore, and the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy. The participants included India's former Ambassador to China, C. V. Ranganathan, and author Sunanda K. Datta-Ray.

On whether the idea of a China-India initiative for the stability of Pakistan would at all fly, Mr. Wu, formerly a career diplomat, said: “The rise of Asia requires peace and stability in this region. So, you can see that China's interest and the Indian interest coincide. … We [in China] do not regard Pakistan as a counterweight to India. It is not propaganda: you [only] have to put yourself in China's shoes. .... For the first time since 1840, we have a chance to modernise China. To achieve our goal, what we need is peace abroad and stability at home.”

“Trust-building is now going on between China and India, and our common interests keep growing in the economic area, in trade and in other areas.” Despite “some obstacles,” the two countries “at the leadership level, are [also] very clear that they need each other.”

About the risk that Islamabad might see any China-India initiative as a ploy to “fix Pakistan,” he said: “We [China] can tell our Pakistani friends. At the same time, India and Pakistan have their own channel of communication.” On what he termed as “rumours” relating to the China-Pakistan moves in the civil nuclear domain, he said Beijing “abides by the international rules and will not go beyond them.”

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