November 22, 2002

China Exchanges View with Pakistan and India

Chinese Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan on Monday telephoned Pakistani Foreign Minister Abdul Sattar and Indian Foreign Minister Jaswant Singh, to exchange views on current Pakistan-India relations and the situation in south Asia.

In his conversation with Sattar, Tang expressed China's worry and concern at the tensions in current Pakistan-India relations, stressing that China appreciates and supports Pakistan's position on anti-terrorism and its active participation in international anti-terrorism co-operation.

Tang noted that the current Afghan peace process has just had agood beginning, and to continue the process and carry out post-warrenovations requires peace and stability in south Asia.

It is in the interests of both Pakistan and India and in the common expectations of the international community for both countries to exercise the utmost restraint and to ease their tensions as soon as possible, noted Tang.

Sattar outlined the Pakistani government's calm and restrained attitude towards the current situation, stressing Pakistan hopes that peace will be maintained in south Asia and opposes war in anyform.

All the measures adopted by the Pakistani government so far have won unanimous support from all parties and all people in Pakistan and Pakistan will continue to strive for peace, added Sattar.

In his talks with Singh, Tang stressed China's principled stance on anti-terrorism in any form, and repeated condemnations of the terrorist attacks which occurred in India's parliament building on December 13.

Stressing India-Pakistan relations have a direct impact on peace and stability in the whole of south Asia, Tang voiced China's hope that the crisis in India-Pakistan relations will be eased at an early date.

Tang pointed out that to safeguard peace and stability in southAsia is of vital importance for the smooth progress of the political solution of the Afghan issue, and India, as a big country in South Asia, can play a more positive role in this regard.

Singh briefed Tang on India's views on the current situation, and reiterated India's principled position on any form of anti-terrorism.

He said that peace and tranquility are important for all countries in South Asia including India and Pakistan, and solving the problems should not resort to wars. Singh said he expected that all parties reduce their hostility, promote dialogue and co-exist harmoniously.

Tang said that the meeting of heads of state or government of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation to be held soon in Nepal is very important and China expects the summit successful.

(People's Daily January 1, 2002)

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