Countries in South Asia should make efforts for peace: China

Beijing, Sep 16 (PTI) China said on Thursday that all countries in South Asia should make efforts to maintain peace, security and stability in the region as it reacted to media reports on India’s plan to test nuclear-capable ICBM Agni-V ballistic missile, which has a range of 5,000 kms.

“Maintaining peace, security and stability in South Asia means the common interest of all,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told a media briefing here, replying to a question about reports that India plans to test Agni-V missile.

“We hope all parties will make constructive efforts towards this,” he said.

The missile, with a strike range of 5,000 kms, could reach several Chinese cities and was expected to significantly bolster India’s military prowess. The missile, which is capable of carrying a nuclear warhead, has been successfully tested five times and is in the process of induction into the Army. All the five trials were successful.

Very few countries, including the US, China, Russia, France and North Korea, have intercontinental ballistic missiles.

“As for whether India can develop ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons, the UNSC Resolution 1172 already has clear stipulations, he said.

The UNSC resolution of 1172 is related to 1998 nuclear tests by both India and Pakistan.

It condemned the nuclear tests conducted by India and by Pakistan and asked the two countries to refrain from further nuclear tests. It also urged India and Pakistan to cease development of ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons.

China has come up with similar reactions during past tests of Agni-V by India.