China sprang to long-time ally Pakistan’s defence after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi branded Pakistan a “mothership of terrorism” at a summit of BRICS nations. Modi’s remarks to a meeting of leaders from BRICS ─ Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa ─ escalated his diplomatic drive to isolate Pakistan, which India accuses of sponsoring cross-border terrorism. Tensions between the two countries have been running high since the Sept 18 Uri army base attack in held Kashmir killed 19 Indian soldiers in the worst such assault in 14 years.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying, asked about Modi’s comments, said China opposed all forms of terrorism and that the international community should increase counter-terrorism cooperation. “We also oppose the linking of terrorism to any specific country, ethnicity or religion. This is China’s consistent position,” she told a daily news briefing in Beijing. “Everyone knows that India and Pakistan are victims of terrorism. Pakistan has made huge efforts and great sacrifices in fighting terrorism. I think the international community should respect this,” Hua added. China and Pakistan consider each other “all-weather friends” and have close diplomatic, economic and security ties.