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China plays down reports of Xi cancelling Pak visit

China plays down reports of Xi cancelling Pak visit Playing down reports that President Xi Jinping may call off his proposed visit to Pakistan later this month due to the political turmoil in the country, China on Wednesday expressed hope that the crisis would be resolved through dialogue.

“China has a close relationship with Pakistan. Our two countries have always maintained high level and close interactions,” Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Qin Gang told a media briefing here while replying to a question on reports of the likelihood of Xi’s visit being cancelled if the political stalemate continued in Islamabad.

“As regards what has been mentioned in reports about President Xi’s visit, I have no information to offer at the moment,” Qin said.

Xi is due to begin his visit to the subcontinent with Pakistan, followed by Sri Lanka and India later this month.

The visit has not yet officially been announced. Pakistan has been rocked by over a fortnight of anti-government protests demanding the ouster of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

China has already appealed twice recently for settling the differences between the government and the protesters through dialogue.

“As a friendly neighbour to Pakistan, China follows closely the development of the situation in Pakistan,” Qin said.

“We hope that all relevant parties in Pakistan will give value to the fundamental interests of the people and the nation and properly resolve relevant issues through consolation and dialogues to jointly uphold stability of the country and the society,” he said.