January 2002 News

China says no role in mediating Kashmir problem

9 January 2002
The Indian Express

Beijing: China on Wednesday dissociated itself from donning the role of a peacemaker between India and Pakistan and hoped that the upcoming visit of Prime Minister Zhu Rongji to New Delhi would serve to dispel the fears of a ''China threat'' and enhance mutual understanding. ''I think the role that can be played by China together with the international community is to persuade the two sides to continue to exercise restraint. However, in the end, it is up to the two countries to find a peaceful solution,'' Director General of the Asia Department of the Chinese Foreign Ministry Fu Ying said. Briefing reporters on the upcoming visit of Zhu to Bangladesh and India from January 11-18, Fu said China would only like to persuade India and Pakistan to resolve their differences peacefully through dialogue and consultations. ''As far as the tension between India and Pakistan is concerned, our position is the hope to see the ease of tension,'' she said, ahead of Zhu''s first meeting with Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee on January 14. She noted that both India and Pakistan have stated that they don''t want to have a war, which is an important common point. ''China is working together with the international community to try to promote peace. In the end, it is up to the Indians and Pakistanis to make their own decisions to try and find a solution,'' she said. Fu emphasised that Zhu''s visit was scheduled much ahead of the December 13 terrorist strike on Parliament house and the ensuing tension between India and Pakistan. ''The visit of PM Zhu to Bangladesh and India was decided long time ago, long before the (December 13) Indian Parliament incident. So, we have decided to carry on with the visit because we have full confidence in the development of the situation,'' she said.


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