China's Special Envoy on Afghanistan Affairs Ambassador Deng Xijun has said there is a need for a politically-negotiated settlement through an Afghan-led, Afghan-owned peace process in Afghanistan.
Xijun was called on by Pakistan Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua on Monday afternoon to discuss "regional and international efforts for lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan", The Dawn reported.
"Ambassador Deng Xijun reaffirmed China's continuing and firm support to Pakistan's commitment and efforts for peace and stability in Afghanistan," a press release issued by the Foreign Office stated.
"Emphasising that there was no military solution to the conflict, he underlined the need for a politically-negotiated settlement through an Afghan-led Afghan-owned peace process," it added.
Both countries have agreed to strengthen cooperation in "facilitating peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan as well as promoting meaningful engagement between the three neighbourly countries," the release said.
However, the United States may ask China to put pressure on Pakistan to act against Afghan Taliban and other terror groups having sanctuaries inside Islamabad.
The U.S. may carry out strikes in Pakistan as part of its new regional strategy for stabilising Afghanistan, its Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said, a day after President Donald Trump announced a change in America's approach to Pakistan. The aid being provided to Pakistan, and its status as a non-NATO ally are on the review table, but China may view with suspicion any U.S. moves to expand the scope of drone strikes beyond the tribal areas.
As China has economic and strategic interests in Pakistan that involve tens of billions of dollars in investment. The marked shift in Beijing foreign policy is due to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which Chinese officials have described as the flagship for President Xi Jinping's Belt and Road initiative.
China will provide a stronger support than it did the last time when U.S.-Pakistan tensions deteriorated after the 2011 special forces raid that killed Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad.
"Beijing's interests in Pakistan have shifted markedly in recent years, and Beijing cannot be expected to react the same way that it did in the Abbottabad aftermath."
For a successful implementation of new U.S. South Asia strategy, U.S. President Donald Trump has issued a warning to Pakistan authorities that if Islamabad continues to support the Afghan Taliban and other terror groups in Pakistan, then the Trump administration is likely to impose sanctions on them and may carry out air raids inside Pakistan.