Beijing rubbishes ‘nonsense’ rumours of rift with Islamabad


Beijing, June 13 (TNS): China has denied ‘nonsense’ rumours of a rift with Islamabad after reports of Chinese President Xi Jinping ignoring Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in Kazakhstan emerged following the murder of two Chinese nationals in Balochistan.

Beijing’s statement comes days after reports said Xi had skipped a customary meeting with Sharif at the SCO summit after two Chinese teachers were abducted in Balochistan last month and later on Daesh claimed to kill the duo.

“Some reports are just nonsense and unwanted,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said. “China and Pakistan enjoy an all-weather strategic partnership.”

“I can tell you that during the 17th SCO heads of state meeting, President Xi met with Pakistan Prime Minister Sharif several times,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said.

However, the spokesperson did not confirm if the meetings between Xi and Sharif were bilateral in nature or not.

The spokesperson said the SCO has become an important platform and reliable support for the members to enhance mutual trust, deepen good neighbourly ties and friendship and expand political cooperation and uphold regional security and stability for the members.

“The summit has realised the first ever membership enlargement of the SCO. As you know India and Pakistan have got full membership,” Lu said. “This summit has helped to strengthen the cohesion of SCO members, charted the course for future development and also made new proposals for SCO cooperation.”

The spokesperson further said that the summit appreciated the Belt and Road Forum which was held in Beijing last month.