Press Trust of india

Watching Indo-Pak tensions closely: Chinese military

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Beijing, Feb 28 :  China's military on Thursday said it was "closely watching" the escalating tensions between India and Pakistan and called for restraint by both the neighbours.

Terming India and Pakistan as "friends of China", it also said both the countries should resolve the issue through dialogue and properly handle the differences to prevent further escalation of tensions.

Tensions have escalated between India and Pakistan in the wake of the Pulwama suicide attack by Jaish-e-Muhammed (JeM) in which 49 Central Reserve Police Force personnel were killed.

India carried out air strikes against the “biggest training camp of JeM” in Balakot. In the operation, it said “a very large number of JeM terrorists, trainers, senior commanders and groups of jihadis who were being trained for suicide attacks were eliminated. The facility at Balakot was headed by Yousuf Azhar, the brother-in-law of the JeM chief.”

Pakistan on Wednesday claimed it shot down two Indian fighter jets over Pakistani air space and arrested a pilot.

"We have noted the latest developments and we are closely watching the situation," Chinese Defence Ministry spokesman, Senior Col Ren Guochang told a media briefing here when asked about the prevailing tensions between India and Pakistan.

Asked whether the People's Liberation Army (PLA) has increased the presence of its troops in the borders in view of the tensions, Col Ren said "both India and Pakistan are friends of China. We believe that top priority is to exercise restraint and to resolve the issue through dialogue and coordination so as to prevent any escalation of tensions."

He said India and Pakistan are two major countries in South Asia.

"A harmonious relation between the two countries serve the interests of the two countries as well as peace and development of the region and the world.

"We hope the two sides can exercise restraint and properly handle differences and prevent further escalation," he said.

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