China said, on 31 August, that concerns over Pakistan's counter-terrorism record is not an "appropriate topic" to be discussed at next week's BRICS summit, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping are expected to meet.
Indicating that Beijing was averse to the criticism of its close ally at the summit to be held in Xiamen, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told a media briefing in Beijing:
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.
Trump Issues Stern Warning to Pak on Terror
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. She said:
Pakistan is at the forefront of counter-terror efforts and has made sacrifices for this. The international community should recognise their contributions and sacrifices. 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.
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 3-5 September. She said:
During multilateral meetings arranging bilateral meetings is a practice. If time allows China will make proper arrangements.
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.
China's State Councillor and top diplomat Yang Jiechi told US Secretary Rex Tillerson during a phone conversation on 30 August:
We should attach importance to Pakistan’s important role in Afghanistan and respect Pakistan’s sovereignty and legitimate security concerns.
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.
(#TalkingStalking: Have you ever been stalked? Share your experience with The Quint and inspire others to shatter the silence surrounding stalking. Send your stories to firstname.lastname@example.org or WhatsApp @ +919999008335.)