CPEC development does not affect China’s position on Kashmir issue: FO Spokesperson

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BEIJING, March 17 (APP): China on Friday underlined a need for settlement of the longstanding Kashmir issue through dialogue and consultation between India and Pakistan.
“On the Kashmir issue, China’s position is consistent and clear-cut. As a leftover issue from history between India and Pakistan, it needs to be properly settled through dialogue and consultation between the two sides,” Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson, Hua Chunying said during her regular press briefing here.
She said, the development of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) did not affect China’s position on the Kashmir issue.
Responding to yet another question, she said, China and Pakistan maintained normal defense exchanges and cooperation in military industry and trade.
On the visit of Pakistan’ s Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa to China, relevant readouts had already been released about his meetings with Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli, Vice Chairman Fan Changlong of the Central Military Commission and Chief of the Joint Staff Department Fang Fenghui.
About the Saudi King’s visit to Beijing, she said, during the visit, President Xi Jinping held talks with him yesterday.
This morning, Premier Li Keqiang and Chairman Zhang Dejiang
met King Salman separately. They had in-depth discussions on
the bilateral relations and other issues of common concern, reaching important consensus, she added.
After President Xi Jinping’s talks with King Salman, Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Ming briefed the press about the significance and outcomes of the visit.
The two heads of state bore witness to the signing of 14 cooperation deals in capacity and investment, nuclear energy, trade, finance, spaceflight, education, human resources and other fields.
The Spokesperson said, the two sides reaffirmed their commitment to strengthening practical cooperation in various fields under the Belt and Road framework, and aligning the Belt and Road initiative with Saudi’s Vision 2030.
The two sides also signed an MoU which covers 35 major projects for capacity and investment cooperation with a total volume of USD 65 billion.
“It is believed that King Salman’s visit will give a further boost to the bilateral relationship,” she added.
On deployment of THAAD missiles in South Korea, she said, the Chinese side had clearly and repeatedly expressed its opposition on the issue of THAAD, and pointed out its severe damage and consequences.