China Follows Pakistan, Refuses to Attend Delhi Security Dialogue on Afghanistan
China has blamed "scheduling issues" but maintains that it is open to bilateral talks on regional security issues.
The People's Republic of China has joined Pakistan in announcing that it shall not attend the Delhi Regional Security Dialogue on Afghanistan on Wednesday, November 10, NDTV reported.
China has blamed "scheduling issues" for its lack of presence.
"Due to scheduling reasons, it is inconvenient for China to attend the meeting," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said to Chinese media sources in the capital.
Other important geopolitical players of the region, that is, Iran, Russia, and the five former Soviet Republics of the central Asia region -Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan - will participate in a high level security conference of national security advisors.
It will be chaired by India's NSA Ajit Doval, and the attendees are also anticipated to have a group call with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
India has some serious security concerns about Afghanistan after its takeover by the Taliban in mid-August earlier this year, which is why it is taking efforts to bring together regional stakeholders in order to assess the security situation and discuss future plans.
New Delhi sees this meeting as an opportunity to become a leader in South Asian security affairs.
“When you are not at the table, you are on the menu… this conference is India’s attempt to set the table, be on the table, and decide the agenda,” a anonymous source was quoted by The Indian Express.
India has repeatedly insisted that the world must take into consideration the potential threat of terrorism that Afghanistan poses.
China, despite refusing to attend, has also said that it would like to maintain contact over bilateral diplomatic channels to discuss security issues.
"We have already given our reply to the Indian side," Wang had added.
(With inputs from NDTV and The Indian Express)
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