Skirting direct reference to Pakistan and JeM, China today voiced concern over “escalation” of tensions and “rising temperatures” in Kashmir after the Uri terror attack and called on India and Pakistan to resolve their differences through dialogue. “We have noted relevant reports. We are shocked by this attack,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang told media briefing here when asked about Beijing’s reaction to yesterday’s Uri attack and India’s charge that Pakistan-based militant group Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) is behind it.
JeM has special significance as Beijing has put a technical hold over India’s efforts to bring about a UN ban on the outfit’s leader Masood Azhar for his involvement in Pathankot attack. Referring to the Uri attack in which 18 soldiers were killed and several injured, Lu said “we want to express our deep sympathies and condolences to the affected families and the injured”. “China opposes and strongly condemns all forms of terrorism. We are concerned about this escalation and rising temperatures surrounding Kashmir situation,” he said. “We hope relevant parties will have dialogue and consultation to resolve their differences and enhance counter terrorism cooperation,” Lu said, without directly referring to India and Pakistan.
“Only this way can they safeguard peace and security in their region,” he said. Lu also voiced concern over the fallout of the Uri attack on the USD 46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) being laid through the PoK and said the project, in which China is investing considerable amount of resources, needs concerted efforts from all countries for its success. Asked how China sees the impact of the escalation of violence on the CPEC, Lu said: “The building of the corridor is to drive the development of the regional countries. It needs the concerted efforts of all countries concerned to ensure the smooth running of this corridor.” “At the same time I need to stress that recently in this region, especially in Kashmir region, there has been some escalation of tensions,” he said.
“Our position is that we hope all relevant parties can work together and remain committed to resolving these disputes through peaceful consultations and jointly maintain the peace and stability of the region. “This in final analysis is conducive and will bring benefits to China, India, Pakistan and all the regional countries,” he said. China’s concerns over the fall out of the recurring violence in the region was highlighted by state-run Global Times which on September 13 said “China may not want to put too much focus on the region. At the very least, it would be unwise to put all its eggs in one basket”.
“The CPEC has long been seen as symbolic of Sino-Pakistan economic cooperation. It is unlikely that China will change its supportive attitude on the CPEC in the short term, but the increasing cost of security is becoming a big problem in efficiently pushing forward the projects,” the article said.