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‘China wants to develop Kashmir, won’t take sides’

Beijing, Mar 11: China will not pick sides in the India-Pakistan dispute as its primary aim is to develop the “poor and backward” Kashmir, a state media opinion piece has said, adding that Beijing is willing to be the mediator to defuse tensions between New Delhi and Islamabad.
The editorial of state owned Global Times dismissed India’s concerns about China’s consistent support to Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief, Masood Azhar, by not allowing him to be listed as a terrorist in the UN Security Council (UNSC).
“The disputed Kashmir region is not destined to be poor and backward forever. This is China’s goal and should also be the goal of both India and Pakistan. If the two countries can meet each other halfway, it would help them to build mutual trust, lay the foundation for peaceful negotiations and especially strengthen their cooperation on anti-terrorism together with China,” state-controlled nationalistic tabloid Global Times said in an opinion piece.
“China will not pick sides in India-Pakistan disputes. Aiming at easing the two countries’ conflicts and improving the anti-terrorist situation, China will play the role of a mediator and facilitator amid the ongoing tensions.”
Last week, China sent vice foreign minister Kong Xuanyou to Pakistan to discuss the tensions.
Kong, who met Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan and army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa, assured Islamabad of Beijing’s support for peace and stability.
The editorial said it was “irresponsible” to blame China for protecting alleged terrorists.
“However, some Indians doubt China’s efforts. Some Indian experts blamed China for “continued protection” of terrorists who were allegedly based in Pakistan and launched the Pulwama terror attack in February. And many Indian analysts regard China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) as a geopolitical threat,” it said.