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China denies rumours of rift with Pakistan


BEIJING, JUN 13 (DNA) – Beijing has denied ‘nonsense’ rumours of a rift with Islamabad after reports of Chinese President Xi Jinping ignoring Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in Kazakhstan emerged following the murder of two Chinese nationals in Balochistan.

Lee Zing Yang, 24, and Meng Li Si, 26, were abducted from Jinnah Town of Quetta on May 24. Two weeks after their abduction, the Islamic State terrorist group claimed that it had killed the abductees.

“I can tell you that during the 17th SCO heads of state meeting, President Xi met with Pakistan Prime Minister Sharif several times,” Press Trust of India quoted Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang as saying. “Some reports are just nonsense and unwanted. China and Pakistan enjoy an all-weather strategic partnership.”

The spokesperson said the SCO has become an important platform and reliable support for the members to enhance mutual trust, deepen good neighbourly ties and friendship and expand political cooperation and uphold regional security and stability for the members.

“The summit has realised the first-ever membership enlargement of the SCO. As you know India and Pakistan have got full membership,” Lu said. “This summit has helped to strengthen the cohesion of SCO members, charted the course for future development and also made new proposals for SCO cooperation.”

The spokesperson further said that the summit appreciated the Belt and Road Forum which was held in Beijing last month.

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