November 22, 2002

FM: India-Pakistan Dialogue Vital

Premier Zhu Yongji will talk about bilateral, regional and international issues with his counterparts when he pays an official visit to Bangladesh and India between January 11 and 18.

A Foreign Ministry spokesman made the announcement Tuesday, along with a repeated call for dialogue between India and Pakistan to ease their current tension.

Zhu's visit follows a brief stay in Beijing last Thursday by Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, who was on his way to the Nepalese capital of Kathmandu to attend a weekend summit of the South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation (SAARC).

Sun Yuxi said at a regular news briefing that China is ``deeply worried'' about the exchange of fire along the India and Pakistan border.

``We hope that India and Pakistan will maintain restraint and prevent the tension from further escalating,'' Sun said. ``We hope that India and Pakistan will properly resolve the issue through dialogue and work together to maintain peace and stability in the region.''

Zhu also will try to talk India and Pakistan into achieving peace through dialogue, Sun said.

China and Pakistan enjoy a traditional friendship, but Sun said Tuesday that the ties between the two countries are not designed to target a third country.

Leaders of seven South Asian countries, including Musharraf and Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, have pledged co-operation in combating terrorism. Vajpayee and Musharraf met on the sidelines of the SAARC meeting, but the talk did not lead to the easing of tension between the two nuclear-armed countries.

Sun hailed the SAARC summit for achieving some progress in the promotion of economic co-operation and social development in the region.

``We hope that South Asian countries will strengthen co-operation to achieve common development, for this is not only in the fundamental interests of people in these countries but also conducive to peace and stability in the region,'' Sun said. ``China firmly supports any effort to work towards peace and stability in the region and help ease the tension.''

(China Daily January 9, 2002)

In This Series
Statement Calls for Restraint From India and Pakistan

Chinese Premier, Pakistani President on Pakistan-India Tension

Tang, Powell Exchange Views on Indian-Pakistan Tension

Chinese Premier, Pakistani President on Pakistan-India Tension



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