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China says no to envoy's idea of India-Pak-China trilateral coop on SCO sidelines: report

By Shubham

Even though China's top leadership backed the idea of India and Pakistan joining the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) ahead of the 18th summit of the grouping earlier, Beijing on Wednesday, June 20, distanced itself from the remarks made by its ambassador to India, Luo Zhaohui, backing a trilateral cooperation between India, Pakistan and China on the sidelines of the SCO, PTI reported.

It, however, emphasised on the importance of strengthening dialogue between India and Pakistan to improve their mutual trust.

Prime Minister, Narendra Mod with President of the People’s Republic of China, Xi Jinping, at the Signing Ceremony of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit

On Monday, June 18, Luo backed the idea of trilateral engagement between India, China and Pakistan under the aegis of the SCO saying it could help settle bilateral issues between New Delhi and Islamabad and help maintain tranquillity.

A Chinese state-run media had also opined recently that the two South Asian neighbours address their problems under the Shanghai Spirit. However, China's distancing from its envoy's idea clearly demonstrates that it has little interest in digging deep into the two nations' bilateral issues.

When asked about Luo's remarks, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said both India and Pakistan are Beijing's friends and neighbours, adding: "We are willing to conduct relations with all our neighbours including Pakistan and India to strengthen our cooperation for better development and stability in this region," the PTI report added.

Geng hoped that India and Pakistan can work on their dialogue to improve the mutual trust in their bilateral ties. It also said that expressed the official position of the Chinese side, the PTI report added.

The ministry spokesperson refused to reply when asked on the Chinese embassy deleting the envoy's remarks from the transcripts on the website, the PTI report added.

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