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China Defends Pakistan In The Wake Of Indian Terrorism Accusations

File photo of the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
File photo of the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

India wants it neighbors and the rest of the international community to see its nuclear archrival and western neighbor Pakistan is an epicenter of terrorism.

But China still considers its ally Pakistan to be a victim of terrorism and opposes the “linking of terrorism to any specific country, ethnicity, or religion.”

On October 17, Beijing once again defended Islamabad after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi branded Pakistan as the ‘mother ship of terrorism."

Modi made the remarks in an address at a meeting of leaders from BRICS: Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.

"Tragically, the mother ship of terrorism is a country in India's neighborhood," he told BRICS leaders in a visible escalation of his diplomatic drive to isolate Islamabad. "In our own region, terrorism poses a grave threat to peace, security, and development."

Relations between the two rivals have nosedived since militants killed 19 soldiers in an attack on an Indian Army camp on September 18. New Delhi blamed Pakistan-based Islamist militants for the attack in the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir. India said the attack was the worst such assault in 14 years and part of decades-old cross-border terrorism sponsored by Islamabad.

Hua Chunying, a spokeswoman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, however, defended Islamabad when asked about Modi's comments.

"We also know, and everyone knows, that India and Pakistan are victims of terrorism,” she told reporters during her daily news briefing on October 17. “Pakistan has made huge efforts and great sacrifices in fighting terrorism. I think the international community should respect this."

Hua added that Beijing opposes all forms of terrorism and supports greater international cooperation to jointly confront threats from terrorism. “We also oppose the linking of terrorism to any specific country, ethnicity or religion. This is China's consistent position," she said.

Beijing and Islamabad consider each other "all-weather friends." The two neighbors are expanding their close diplomatic, economic, and security ties with China now investing more than $46 billion to link its northwestern Xinjiang region to the Gulf through a trade and energy corridor through Pakistan.

According to media reports, Beijing has twice this year blocked Indian efforts to get the UN to designate Pakistani militant leader Masood Azhar as a terrorist. New Delhi considers him the mastermind of many high-profile attacks in India over the past two decades.

-- With reporting by Reuters

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