US and China react to Indian missile launch in Pakistan – Reuters

Washington considers the incident nothing more than an accident, while Beijing calls for dialogue to avoid future mishaps

The United States and China have both weighed in after India unintentionally fired a missile into Pakistani territory last week, with Beijing suggesting both sides investigate the incident and increase “information sharing” while the US State Department simply dubbed him a “accident.”

Asked about the March 9 missile launch – which New Delhi blamed on a “technical failure” and called “deeply regrettable” in a formal apology – State Department spokesman Ned Price said Washington accepts India’s account of the episode.

“We have no indication, as you have also heard from our Indian partners, that this incident was anything other than an accident,” Price told reporters at a press conference on Monday, referring any further questions to the Indian Army.

Although India noted that it had ordered a “high level” investigation into last week’s erroneous launch, Pakistan’s foreign ministry said it was unhappy with the “simplistic explanation” provided by New Delhi, demanding a joint investigation into the matter. Islamabad has also summoned the Indian envoy to provide a full account of what happened.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian was also asked to comment on the incident at a daily press conference on Monday, saying the ministry had seen the “relevant information” while suggesting that both parties find ways to avoid future “misunderstanding and misjudgment.”

“Both Pakistan and India are important countries in South Asia, which bear the responsibility of maintaining regional security and stability,” he continued, adding that India and Pakistan should “maintain dialogue and communication as soon as possible”, as well as “intensify information sharing and quickly establish a reporting mechanism so that such incidents do not happen again.”

India and Pakistan have been adversaries since 1947, when India gained independence from Britain and was split into separate states. Both sides have engaged in multiple wars and military clashes since, including in 1965, 1971, 1999 and most recently in 2019.

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