Beijing: China has said it will stand by Pakistan during such testing times and would support its sovereignty and territorial integrity, said reports on Wednesday. It said Pakistan should not be cornered post-Pulwama terror attack. (Also read: New Delhi Maintains China Knows Terrorism Operates From Pakistan, ‘Hold Not a Block’)

China’s stance to the international community assumes significance, especially in the light of the strained ties between India and Pakistan.

Speaking in Beijing at the first-ever China-Pakistan Foreign Minister-level strategic dialogue, China Foreign Minister Wang Yi said, “No matter how things change in the world and in the region, China will firmly support Pakistan in upholding its sovereign independence and territorial integrity and dignity.”

Yi met Pakistan Minister Mehmood Qureshi on Tuesday where they discussed the Pulwama terror attack which killed 40 CRPF jawans and led to a stand-off with India.

Qureshi is reported to have said that Pakistan “was and is” ready for a dialogue with India to arrest the deteriorating situation between the two nations.

The China-Pakistan meeting comes a week after China, for the fourth time, blocked a resolution at the UN to declare JeM leader Masood Azhar an international terrorist. Azhar’s outfit had claimed responsibility for the Pulwama attack.

Interestingly, many countries have stood stolidly behind India. France has sanctioning Azhar and frozen his assets.

However, China came to the defence of its ally and asked other countries not to vilify it. Wang reportedly said a peaceful and stable South Asia was in the common interest of regional counties.

“China commends the constructive efforts taken by Pakistan to ease the situation. We call Pakistan and India to exercise restraint and peacefully resolve their differences,” he said.

After the Indian air raid, Pakistan tried to pay back in kind by scrambling its fighter jets which led to a dogfight with Indian jets. Both sides lost one jet each while an India pilot was captured by Pakistan, only to be released within days.