China on Thursday said that concerns over Pakistan’s counter-terrorism record is not an “appropriate topic” to be discussed at the next week’s BRICS summit where Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping were expected to meet.
“We noticed that India when it comes to Pakistan’s counter-terrorism has some concerns. I don’t think this is an appropriate topic to be discussed at BRICS summit,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told a media briefing in Beijing, indicating that Beijing was averse to the criticism of its close ally at the summit to be held in Xiamen.
Asked whether Pakistan’s counter-terrorism record which was sharply criticised by US President Donald Trump last week will figure at the talks between the leaders of the BRICS countries, Hua said the world should recognise Islamabad’s contribution in fighting terrorism.
“Pakistan is at forefront of counter-terror efforts and has made sacrifices for this. The international community should recognise their contributions and sacrifices,” she said.
“China is willing to work with Pakistan and other countries to enhance our cooperation in counter-terrorism. This serves the common interest of all parties,” she said.
Hua also did not provide a direct answer to a question whether Modi and Xi would hold bilateral talks on the sidelines of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) summit from September 3 to 5.
“During multilateral meetings arranging bilateral meetings is a practice. If time allows China will make proper arrangements,” she said.
After Trump’s stern warning to Pakistan against providing safe heavens to Taliban, China sought to impress the US that Islamabad’s support is important to resolve Afghanistan imbroglio.
“We should attach importance to Pakistan’s important role in Afghanistan and respect Pakistan’s sovereignty and legitimate security concerns,” China’s State Councillor and top diplomat Yang Jiechi told US Secretary Rex Tillerson during a phone conversation yesterday.
Trump, in his first prime-time televised address as commander-in-chief, had issued the sternest warning yet by an American leader to Pakistan for providing safe havens to terrorists and sought an enhanced role for India in bringing peace in the war-ravaged country.
Hours after Trump’s remarks, China backed its all weather ally and said the US should recognise Pakistan’s “important role” in Afghanistan and respect its sovereignty and legitimate security concerns.