Beijing: Lauding the new Indian government’s move to invite Pakistan Premier Nawaz Sharif to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Narendra Modi as Prime Minister, China today said improvement in Indo-Pak ties contributes to regional peace, stability and development.

“We have noted that latest development and we welcome that. Both India and Pakistan are major countries in South Asia. The improvement of India-Pakistan relationship not only serves the interests of the two countries but also contributes to regional peace, stability and development,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said.

“As friend and neighbour of the two countries, China would like see the constant improvement of India-Pakistan relationship. We hope this kind of momentum can be maintained so that India and Pakistan can realise common development and maintain regional peace and stability,” he told a media briefing here.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang is expected to call Modi tomorrow to formally greet him during which he may also discuss the momentum of bilateral ties, officials said.

“We congratulate Modi on being elected as new Prime Minister. China pays high attention to developing good neighbourly and comprehensive strategic partnership with India,” Qin said.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has formally greeted Modi during his meeting with the Indian Ambassador Ashok K Kantha here on May 23 and sent a special message expressing a wish to expand ties and exchanges between the two countries.

Tomorrow Kantha is due to meet China’s State Councilor Yang Jiechi, who is China’s point man for India and Special Representative for the Sino-Indian boundary negotiations.

A host of issues specially bilateral ties under the Modi government are expected to be discussed during the meeting.

Greeting Modi, Qin said China looks forward to making joint efforts with the Indian government led by the new Prime Minister and press ahead with the friendly cooperation in various fields to promote common development and safeguard regional peace, stability and development.

While the Chinese government waited for Modi to take over as Prime Minister to formally get in touch with him, a number articles in the official media here have given a positive projection to bilateral ties under his leadership.

The media here has cited his four visits to China as Chief Minister of Gujarat, where most of China’s USD 900 million investments in India were made, while giving a positive projection of bilateral ties in the future.

An editorial in state-run Global Times today said “Modi will not take tough stand against China and smooth transition of foreign policy will be his first test.”

“Currently there’s no sign that Modi will take a tough attitude toward China and making a smooth transition in India’s peripheral foreign policies will be the first test for his governing capacity,” the editorial titled ‘Modi can’t fix India’s gaps by himself’ said.

It said the result of the general elections in India has infused unprecedented confidence in India’s society.

“The results will not change India but only serve as a good beginning at most,” it said.

India’s economy is expected to embark on a road of reform and Modi will promote infrastructure development as he did when serving as chief minister of Gujarat for 12 years, which has become a strong aspiration of India’s mainstream society, the editorial said.

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