China vows to back 'Afghan-led' peace process

The sale of 22 unarmed drones would be worth about $2 billion

The sale of 22 unarmed drones would be worth about $2 billionU.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Effrain Lopez Reuters

China will conduct the shuttle diplomacy between Afghanistan and Pakistan, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said during his visit to both the countries, according to Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang.

"The India-Afghanistan air corridor, which passes through the airspace of Pakistan, was launched on June 19 with a plane loaded with Afghan goods landing in New Delhi from Kabul".

Wang Yi said during a visit to Pakistan on Sunday that foreign ministers from the three countries would discuss relations, with an emphasis on economic cooperation.

The three parties had in-depth exchange of views on the Afghan issue, the relationship between Afghanistan and Pakistan and China-Afghanistan-Pakistan trilateral cooperation.

Many of protesters shouted slogans asking Islamabad to stop intervening in the internal affairs of Kabul.

Meanwhile, a senior Trump official yesterday said that India and the U.S. have a common objective in Afghanistan, and the two countries could increase their cooperation to enhance the Afghan economy.

"In this context, Afghanistan, Pakistan and China agreed on the need for reviving the QCG (Quadrilateral Coordination Group) process in order to create a conducive environment for talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban", he said.

The Global Times in a commentary advised India "to develop economic and trade relations" with China's "all-weather ally" Pakistan where Beijing is building a multi-billion dollar economic corridor. In a huge snub to China, India did not attend a summit in Beijing earlier this month that saw 60 countries including the United States attending the session on President Xi Jinping's signature project.

"In our discussions, yesterday, we took stock of the progress made in bilateral relations, including political, strategic and economic cooperation".

Bypassing Pakistan in a direct air corridor with Afghanistan reflects India's "stubborn geopolitical thinking" and its opposition to Beijing's connectivity project, a Chinese daily has said. We do cooperate with Pakistan on some security and defence and counter terrorism issues.

Wang also hailed Pakistan's important contribution to the worldwide counter terrorism cause as it is in the frontline of global fight against terror. "So, I think that we would like to move forward with both countries", the official said. He also denied the reports that America's sale of high-tech defence items to India would have any adverse impact on Pakistan.

Earlier, Foreign Office spokesman Nafees Zakaria during his weekly briefing on Thursday said that the Chinese foreign minister will discuss "all issues of mutual interest including the regional situation".

Chinese President Xi Jinping has expressed his deep grief to President Mamnoon Hussain over the tragic oil tanker accident in Ahmadpur Sharqia.

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