Extracts from Foreign Ministry Spokesperson’s Regular Press Conference on March 18, 2019
As agreed by China and Pakistan, the first China-Pakistan Foreign Ministers’ Strategic Dialogue will be held in Beijing on March 19. State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi will co-chair the dialogue.
Q: You just mentioned that Pakistan’s foreign minister has arrived for a dialogue with State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi in China. I presume that India-Pakistan tensions following the terror attacks in the India-controlled Kashmir will be part of the discussions with the Chinese interlocutors. Since China has already declared that it wants to play a role of facilitation between India and Pakistan, what do you think can be the follow-up steps to this visit?
A: Like I just said, on March 19, that is tomorrow, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi will co-chair the first China-Pakistan Foreign Ministers’ Strategic Dialogue in Beijing. The two sides will exchange views on China-Pakistan relations and international and regional issues of mutual interest. As you said, tensions have arisen in this region recently and the two sides will surely talk about this in the dialogue.
I would like to say that as a friendly neighbour of India and Pakistan, China has actively promoted peace talks and played a constructive role in easing the recent tensions. China will continue to encourage India and Pakistan to meet each other halfway, resolve differences through dialogue and jointly uphold regional peace and stability.
Q: You mentioned the dialogue with Pakistan. We know that China has invested a big sum of money through its Belt and Road Initiative and other programs in predominantly Muslim countries around the world. And yet compared to the West, we often hear less criticism if not any criticism at all from predominantly Muslim countries over China‘s treatment of Muslims in Xinjiang. Is China using these investments to buy the silence of Muslim countries?
A: The mutually-beneficial cooperation between China and relevant countries, especially that under the Belt and Road Initiative, follows the principle of consultation and cooperation for shared benefits and all participants have taken part in it on voluntary basis and benefit from that. This has nothing to do with the attitude of these countries regarding the Xinjiang-related issues.
As for China’s position on Xinjiang-related issues, we have made it clear on many occasions. The measures the Chinese side has taken in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region are for preventive counter-terrorism and de-radicalization purposes, on which the international community has fair judgment. The resolutions adopted by the meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation not long ago have demonstrated that fairly.