China’s Foreign Ministry on Wednesday lauded Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “positive remarks” at a global think-tank event in New Delhi on Tuesday.
Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying also stressed that the differences between New Delhi and Beijing over designating Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) leader Masood Azhar as a terrorist and India’s membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) should not become a “stumbling block” in the relationship.
Answering a question on Mr. Modi’s remarks at Raisina Dialogue-II that the rise of China and India was an unprecedented opportunity for the two countries and the world, Ms. Hua said: “As for Mr. Modi’s positive remarks, we appreciate that. The two leaders are in frequent touch with each other and had extensive exchanges.”
Ms. Hua praised the “strong leadership of the two countries” for expanding the cooperation between China and India. “It is very important to keep our cooperation growing in a sound and stable way. It will benefit the region and the whole world and serve the common interests of the two sides.” “The consensus is that the common interests far outweigh our differences,” she said. Ms. Hua said China’s position on the Kashmir issue would remain unchanged, notwithstanding the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) which passes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).
In response to question on Mr. Modi’s observation that only by respecting the sovereignty of the countries involved could regional connectivity corridors fulfil their promise, Ms. Hua said: “In his remarks, Mr. Modi did not directly mention the CPEC. On respecting the sovereignty of other countries, China always develops friendly relations with other countries on the basis of five principles of peaceful coexistence, one of which is to respect the sovereignty of other countries.” “We also follow these principles in promoting cooperation in all-round way, including regional connectivity,” she said.
The CPEC 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 targets no third country and it will not affect China’s position on [the] Kashmir issue,” she said.
In response to China’s intervention to stop Masood Azhar from being put on a U.N. ban list and denial of India’s entry to the 48-nation NSG, Ms. Hua underscored that “these two issues shall not be stumbling blocks for China and India to develop their relationship.” “We need to look further and seek common ground to maintain our mutually beneficial cooperation and seek a solution to these issues,” she said.
Ms. Hua reiterated that China’s “technical hold” on India’s request for adding Azhar to the blacklist in the 1267 committee of the U.N. Security Council conformed to the “rules of procedure of the committee.”