Pakistan thanks China for 'support on Kashmir issue'

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Mahabalipuram: With tight security, freshly painted walls and banana tree-lined roads, the touristy town of Mahabalipuram, also known as Mamallapuram, a suburb of Chennai, the capital of southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu is all set to host Asia's two important leaders- Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping for the second informal summit on October 11-12.

The two leaders had held the first informal summit in Wuhan previous year, which significantly helped normalise the turbulent bilateral relationship in the aftermath of the 73-day Doklam crisis.

Xi and Modi last met one-on-one at a resort in Wuhan, China, in April 2018.

"At the regional level, we should resolve disputes peacefully through dialogues and consultations and jointly uphold regional peace and stability", he said.

A high-level US Congressional delegation on October 6 visited Pakistan-occupied Kashmir to assess the situation on the ground and gauge the public feeling after India revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.

India and China's ties have historically been testy, and recent events surrounding Kashmir - in particular Beijing's diplomatic support to Islamabad at the United Nations - have added to strains.

At the U.N., China said India should not act unilaterally on Kashmir, a portion of which China also controls, and where there have been occasional border skirmishes between India and China.

Commenting on the possibility of a dialogue with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Kashmir, Khan said that his government had tried several times to negotiate with Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party government, but dialogue process could not be resumed unless curfew was lifted.

This is a significant change in China's position on Kashmir who had earlier said that the "Kashmir issue should be resolved based on the UN charter, relevant UN Security Council resolutions and bilateral agreement".

"There is tradition of high-level exchange between leaders of China and India".

China has deepened ties with India's neighbours, building ports and power stations in an arc stretching from Bangladesh to Sri Lanka and Pakistan as part of its grand Belt and Road energy and infrastructure plan.

Ahead of Xi's trip, Indian media is claiming that the Chinese leader will not raise the issue of Kashmir during his meeting with PM Modi, and the discussion will focus on enhancing bilateral trade and boosting economic cooperation.

"The two sides expressed determination to speedily execute CPEC so that its growth potential can be fully realized making it a high-quality demonstration project for BRI", the governments said in a joint statement.

In August, the armed forces of China and Pakistan held the Shaheen-VIII air force joint exercise.

In August India withdrew seven decades of constitutional autonomy and statehood from its portion of Kashmir.

"In particular, about 4,300MW of energy projects are now under construction and additional 2,500MW projects are in the planning phase", he said, apparently in reference to recent reports that the $52bn bilateral arrangement had slowed down after Islamabad's renewed engagements with the United States and the International Monetary Fund. Any support of Pakistan's claims by Beijing is likely to be seen unfavorably by India. On its part, China has been looking to press for India to adopt Huawei's 5G next-generation technology for wireless communications.

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