China officially responds over news of Pakistan India China trilateral summit

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China officially responds over news of Pakistan India China trilateral summit

*BEIJING - *China today distanced itself from its envoy's comments on the idea of trilateral cooperation between India, China and Pakistan under the aegis of the SCO, but underlined the importance of strengthening of dialogue between New Delhi and Islamabad to improve mutual trust.

Chinese Ambassador to India Luo Zhaohui on Monday endorsed the idea of trilateral cooperation between India, China and Pakistan <link>under the aegis of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), saying it could "in the future" help resolve bilateral issues between New Delhi and Islamabad and help maintain peace.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang, when asked about Mr Luo's comments, said both India and Pakistan are China's friends and neighbours.

"We are willing to conduct relations with all our neighbours including Pakistan and India to strengthen our cooperation for better development and stability in this region.

"We also hope India, Pakistan can strengthen their dialogue to improve mutual trust in their bilateral relations. This is in the interest of the regional countries," he said.

Asked whether China is distancing from Mr Luo's remarks, Mr Geng said "what I said represents the official position of the Chinese side".

He also declined to answer a question on the Chinese Embassy erasing envoy's comments from the transcript posted on the website.

Advertisement The Chinese envoy to India had also said that bilateral ties between India and China can't take the strain of another Dokalam episode and emphasised the need to find a "mutually acceptable solution" on the boundary issue through a meeting of Special Representatives.

Mr Luo said "some Indian friends" had suggested trilateral cooperation comprising India, China and Pakistan under the aegis of the SCO, which was a "very constructive idea".