China responds over historic Kartarpur corridor opening between Pakistan and India

BEIJING - China on Monday welcomed the opening of the landmark Kartarpur corridor and hoped that both India and Pakistan "can continue to show goodwill" to resolve their differences through dialogue.

The first batch of the Indian Sikh pilgrims entered Pakistan on Saturday using the historic corridor, which was thrown open ahead of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev, the founder of the Sikh faith.

The corridor links Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan, the final resting place of Guru Nanak Dev, to Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Punjab's Gurdaspur.

"We welcome such good interactions between India and Pakistan," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told the media here.

"Both countries are important in South Asia and peaceful coexistence between the two meets the fundamental interests of both and the common aspiration of the world," he said.

"We hope the two sides can continue to show the goodwill moving in the same direction, properly resolving the differences through dialogue and improving their relations, and jointly safeguarding regional peace and stability," he added.

The inauguration of the corridor comes amid frayed ties between India and Pakistan following New Delhi's decision in August to withdraw Jammu and Kashmir's special status and bifurcate the State into two Union Territories.