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China says it supports Pakistan in safeguarding its independent sovereignty

Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang shake hands during a signing ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, October 8, 2019. Yukie Nishizawa/Pool via REUTERS

BEIJING (Reuters) - China supports Pakistan in safeguarding its independent sovereignty and territorial integrity, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said on Tuesday during a visit by Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Khan is scheduled to meet both Li and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing this week to discuss the security situation in the disputed region of Kashmir as well as economic ties.

Tensions over Kashmir have risen sharply since August when New Delhi revoked the autonomy of its portion of the territory, which both India and Pakistan rule in part and claim in full.

“China-Pakistan friendship enjoys a profound foundation and the two peoples enjoy traditional friendship. There are no strings attached to our relationship, and it is not targeted at any third party,” Li said as he met with Khan at the Great Hall of the People, according to a pool report.

Reporting by Ryan Woo