BEIJING- Downplaying reports of cancellation of Chinese President Xi Jinping's maiden Pakistan visit, China today said the trip was never officially announced.

"We have never officially released any information about Xi's visit to Pakistan. Therefore there is no ground for you to say that we have cancelled the trip," Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang told a media briefing. Qin made the remarks while responding to a question on Xi calling off the visit due to security considerations in the wake of ongoing anti-government protests in Pakistan.

Though officially not announced, Xi was due to visit Pakistan, Sri Lanka and India in that order in the middle of this month.

"China and Pakistan are friendly neighbors. We enjoy all weather friendship and cooperation in various fields. The two countries maintain close high level interactions. With regard to issues concerning high level visits between the two countries in the next step we are in close communication," Qin said.

China has already appealed twice to Pakistan government and protesting parties to settle their differences through dialogue. Qin again appealed for political reconciliation in Pakistan to maintain domestic stability. "We hope all relevant parties in Pakistan to make joint efforts to uphold domestic stability," he said.