ISLAMABAD -

China is ready to act as an arbiter in Kashmir dispute but any such arrangement is subject to India’s acquiescence, stated Chinese ambassador to Pakistan.

Asked if there was possibility that China played its role in ending longstanding dispute during Chinese Premier Li Keqiang visit to Pakistan and India, Liu Jain affirmed the two countries could see rapprochement over Kashmir issue through China.

The foreign dignitary at a farewell reception hosted in his honour here the other day told The Nation that Pakistan and China would sign a wide range of trade and economy and other strategic agreements during Chinese prime minister’s first ever two-day visit to Pakistan starting in the mid of next week, May 22.

Asked how change of leaderships in both the countries would impact China-Pakistan friendship, Jain said it would have no impact on bilateral ties.

New government in Pakistan is set to take the charge with possibility of Nawaz Sharif being prime minister.

Asked if Li Keqiang would invite incoming Pakistani prime minister to China, Liu Jain, said it was definite.

The diplomat, to another query, said perhaps inauguration of operational activities at Gwadar Port by the Chinese premier would not be possible in this visit.

AFP adds: Pakistan is set to become the fifth Asian country to use China’s domestic satellite navigation system which was launched as a rival to the US global positioning system, a report said Saturday.

The Beidou, or Compass, system started providing services to civilians in the region in December and is expected to provide global coverage by 2020. It also has military applications.

Thailand, China, Laos and Brunei already use the Chinese system, which currently consists of 16 operational satellites, with 30 more due to join the system, according to English-language China Daily.

Huang Lei, international business director of BDStar Navigation, which promotes Beidou, told the newspaper the company would build a network of stations in Pakistan to enhance the location accuracy of Beidou. He said building the network would cost tens of millions of dollars.

American website Defensenews.com reported early May that Pakistani military experts were in favour of using the Chinese system, even though the availability of the signal could not be guaranteed in case of conflict. But according to one of them, Pakistan cannot place its trust in the United States.

“Pakistan’s armed forces cannot rely on US GPS because of its questionable availability during a conflict that has overtones of nuclear escalation,” former Pakistan Air Force pilot Kaiser Tufail told the site.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang travels next week to Pakistan, a long time ally, after a visit to India.