China irks India over held Kashmir two days before summit

Updated October 10, 2019

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New Delhi reacted sharply on Wednesday after Xi Jinping again supported Prime Minister Imran Khan on occupied Kashmir, just two days before Indian premier Narendra Modi was due to host the Chinese president for an “informal summit”.  — AFP/File
New Delhi reacted sharply on Wednesday after Xi Jinping again supported Prime Minister Imran Khan on occupied Kashmir, just two days before Indian premier Narendra Modi was due to host the Chinese president for an “informal summit”. — AFP/File

NEW DELHI: New Delhi reacted sharply on Wednesday after Xi Jinping again supported Prime Minister Imran Khan on occupied Kashmir, just two days before Indian premier Narendra Modi was due to host the Chinese president for an “informal summit”.

President Xi told Prime Minister Khan during talks in Beijing ahead of the Chinese leader’s meeting with Mr Modi in Chennai on Friday and Saturday that Beijing was paying close attention to the Kashmir situation and that the facts were clear, the Xinhua state news agency reported.

In response, India’s foreign ministry said: “India’s position has been consistent and clear that Jammu & Kashmir is an integral part of India. China is well aware of our position. It is not for other countries to comment on the internal affairs of India.”

Ties between India and China have historically been testy, and recent events surrounding occupied Kashmir — in particular Beijing’s diplomatic support to Islamabad at the United Nations — have added to strains.

“China sympathises and supports the situation faced by Pakistan on this [Kashmir] issue. So, at present, the relationship between China and India has reached a very delicate point,” said Cheng Xiaohe at the Department of International Politics at Renmin University.

India’s move in August to split occupied Jammu and Kashmir into two angered not just Pakistan but also China because it will make the Ladakh region of the state a separate Indian administrative territory.

China thundered in August that India had “continued to undermine China’s territorial sovereignty by unilaterally changing its domestic law”.

Published in Dawn, October 10th, 2019