Wednesday Feb 27, 2019
BEIJING: China called on Pakistan and India on Wednesday to "exercise restraint" and seek dialogue after the Pakistani military said it shot down two Indian warplanes in its airspace amid rising border tensions.
"What we are concerned about is that India and Pakistan, as important countries of the South Asian subcontinent, can maintain good neighbourly and friendly relations," foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said at a regular press briefing.
"We hope that both India and Pakistan can exercise restraint, take initiatives that are conducive to promoting dialogue, meet halfway and make active efforts for lasting peace and stability in South Asia," Lu said.
Pakistan Air Force earlier today shot down two Indian jets within its airspace, the military spokesperson said in a press conference hours after the retaliatory action.
A day ago, Indian aircraft had intruded into Pakistani airspace from the Muzaffarabad sector and dropped their payload on what India claimed was a terrorist camp, before they were repelled by timely action from the Pakistan Air Force.
China is one of Pakistan’s closest allies. It has poured billions of dollars into the South Asian country as part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a massive infrastructure project that seeks to connect its western province of Xinjiang with the Arabian Sea port of Gwadar in Balochistan.
The project is one of the largest in Beijing´s Belt and Road initiative, comprising a network of roads and sea routes involving 65 countries.