BEIJING, March 4. /TASS/. China supports Russia’s initiative to act as a diplomatic intermediary between India and Pakistan to de-escalate the situation between the countries, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang said at Monday’s briefing.
"We welcome any measures that will help support peace and stability in the region, as well as improve the situation," he said in response to the corresponding question.
"We hope that India and Pakistan will regulate the existing discrepancies through consultations," the diplomat added. That said, Lu Kang did not give a direct answer to the question on whether China will be able to act as an intermediary between India and Pakistan. China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson noted that China currently maintains close contacts with both sides and intends to continue to play a constructive role in the settlement.
The escalation of tensions in relations between Pakistan and India was caused by an attack on an Indian military car convoy in the Jammu and Kashmir state on February 14, which killed 45 people. The Jaish-e-Mohammed group, which is located on Pakistani territory, claimed responsibility for the attack. On Tuesday, India carried out an air strike on this group’s camp in the part of Kashmir controlled by Pakistan. On Wednesday, the Pakistan Air Force hit India’s military installations in response. New Delhi and Islamabad stated that they downed each other’s place during the air fight.
On March 1, the Russian Foreign Ministry reported that Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in a telephone conversation with his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Friday that Moscow is ready to support the de-escalation between Islamabad and New Delhi.
The situation in Jammu and Kashmir - the only Indian state where Muslims constitute a majority - has been tense for years. The territory of the ancient principality of Kashmir has been a matter of dispute between India and Pakistan since 1947, when the British Raj received independence and was split into two states based on religion. To date, there is no state border in Kashmir: its territory is divided by the Line of Control. Groups that favor departure from India are being active in the Indian part. New Delhi blames Islamabad for supporting terrorists, but Pakistan refutes these statements.