Beijing supports any measures aimed at easing tensions between Islamabad and New Delhi and is maintaining contact with both sides to help achieve this goal, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said on Monday.

"China hopes that India and Pakistan, which are important countries in South Asia, will be able to resolve the relevant problems via friendly dialogue and negotiations. In order to reduce tensions [in the region], China maintains close contacts with both India and Pakistan," the diplomat said at a news briefing.

The spokesman also commented on the proposal made during talks between Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his Pakistani counterpart, Shah Mehmood Qureshi. According to the plan, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) mechanisms could be used to resolve the existing crisis in the region.

"China supports any constructive measures that would contribute to maintaining peace and stability in the region and reducing tensions between New Delhi and Islamabad," he stated.

The long-standing tensions between the two South Asian nations escalated after the Indian Air Force (IAF) conducted an air raid against an alleged training camp of the Pakistani-based Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist organization on February 26. The group claimed responsibility for a February 14 suicide attack on a convoy carrying Indian security forces that killed over 40 troops.

Pakistan, which denies any involvement in the February attack, retaliated with airstrikes, downing an Indian jet over the disputed Kashmir border and capturing an Indian pilot. The IAF then said that its MiG-21 Bison had shot down a Pakistani Air Force F-16.

Pakistan later handed back the Indian pilot "as a peace gesture" on March 1.