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China offers to mediate between India, Pakistan

BEIJING: China has expressed willingness to play a constructive role in improving tense relations between Pakistan and India.

Addressing a press briefing in Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang said on-going tension along the Line of Control in Kashmir is posing threat to peace and stability of the region.

He urged both Islamabad and New Delhi to start a meaningful dialogue for the settlement of their bilateral disputes and promote peace in the region.

Replying to a question about current border standoff between China and India in Sikkim, he asked the Indian side to withdraw its troops from the Chinese territory and properly settle this dispute at the earliest.

Last week Indian Defence Minister Arun Jaitley said that Beijing had instigated the military stand-off by building a road along the Himalayan border that is a security concern for India, sparking fury from China.

Beijing on its part accuses soldiers of crossing from the north eastern state of Sikkim into its Tibetan territory to stop the road building and says it controls the territory under an 1890 accord made with Britain.

The Defence Minister’s reference to the 1962 war was made after Beijing suggested that India remember “the historic lessons” of that encounter, which was lost by India.

Bhutan has also lodged a formal protest to China, saying the road violates a bilateral agreement. Bhutan, which does not have diplomatic relations with China, still disputes sovereignty of the land.



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