FILE PHOTO: Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi took part in a joint press conference with the Foreign Minister of Kyrgyzstan Chingiz Aidarbekov (not shown) at the State Guesthouse in Diaoyutai, Beijing, China, on February 21
SHANGHAI (Reuters) – A high-ranking Chinese diplomat expressed "deep concern" over an escalation of tension between India and Pakistan on Wednesday, after two countries said they were knocking out fighter jets.
State Counselor Wang Yi, the highest diplomat of the Chinese government, made comments in a telephone conversation with Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmoud Qureshi, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a statement on its website on Thursday.
Qureshi called Wang to brief him on the latest developments in the conflict and express hope that China will continue to play a "constructive role" in easing the tension, the statement said.
Wang "reaffirmed his hope that Pakistan and India will deter and seriously fulfill their obligations to prevent the expansion of the situation" and said that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries should be respected, the statement said.
India began an air strike by saying that it was the military training base on Tuesday, its first in Pakistan after the 1971 war after at least 40 Indian militiamen died in the bombing of suicide bombers on the basis of Pakistani military in Kashmir-controlled India.
For the first time in history, two nuclear forces launched air strikes against each other, and ground forces exchanged fire at more than ten locations.
Report by Andrew Galbraith; Editing by Michael Perry