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China MFA Objects to Bifurcation of J & K, India Responds

Published Nov 01, 2019
Updated Feb 06, 2020

Indian and Chinese Foreign Ministries were involved in a spat on the issue of bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir on 31 October as both sides stressed on the impact of the same on territorial sovereignty underlining that differences are likely to persist despite the positive vibes that were evident at the Chennai Informal Summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping.

Here are the Statements of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Indian Ministry of External Affairs

Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs Statement-

At the Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang’s Regular Press Conference on October 31, 2019 responding to the Q: The Indian government today established the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and the Union Territory of Ladakh following the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019. Lieutenant governors for the two UTs were sworn in respectively in Srinagar and Leh. I wonder if China has any comments?

Mr Geng said, A: The Indian government officially announced the establishment of the so-called “Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir” and “Union Territory of Ladakh”, placing part of Chinese territory under Indian administration. China deplores and firmly opposes this. India is challenging China’s sovereign rights and interests by unilaterally revising domestic law and administrative division. This is illegal, null and void. It will neither change the fact that the relevant region is under China’s actual control nor produce any effect.

We urge India to respect China’s territorial sovereignty, abide by bilateral agreements, and safeguard the peace and tranquility in the border region with concrete actions to create conditions for a proper settlement of the border issue with China.

China’s position on the issue of Kashmir is consistent and clear. It is a dispute left over from history and should be resolved properly and peacefully in accordance with the UN Charter, relevant Security Council resolutions and bilateral agreements. Parties to the issue should resolve disputes through dialogue and consultation to maintain peace and stability in the region.

However Geng maintained that the #ChennaiConnect spirit was intact, responding to a Q: According to some Pakistani media reports, a senior official from the Chinese foreign ministry has been quoted as saying that there is a trust deficit between China and India in contrast to that between Pakistan and China. Would you agree to this point of view in the light of the recently-concluded informal summit between President Xi and Prime Minister Modi in Chennai?

Geng said, “Regarding the informal meeting between President Xi and Prime Minister Modi in Chennai, both sides have issued press releases. It was a successful meeting where the two leaders had an in-depth exchange of views on overarching, long-term and strategic international and regional issues in a very friendly atmosphere and agreed to forge an even closer partnership.

The two leaders also planned to deepen cooperation in various sectors, including in people-to-people and cultural exchange. There has been rapid progress in this area in the past few years with many outcomes. Under exchange mechanisms in place, relevant departments on the two sides worked hand in hand and delivered fruitful results. All these are of extraordinary significance to promoting mutual understanding and trust between our two peoples. We stand ready to work with the Indian side under these mechanisms to further strengthen the cultural and people-to-people bond for better bilateral relations.

You also mentioned Pakistan. It is China’s all-weather strategic cooperative partner. The China-Pakistan friendship is unbreakable.

Indian Ministry of External Affairs Statements in response to the Chinese Statement –

Indian Ministry of External Affairs responded strongly to the Chinese statements. The Spokesperson said, “The matter of reorganization of the erstwhile State of Jammu & Kashmir into the Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh is entirely an internal affair of India. We do not expect other countries, including China, to comment on matters which are internal to India, just as India refrains from commenting on internal issues of other countries. The Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh are integral part of India. We expect other countries to respect India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

The statement from India’s ministry of external affairs also said as per Hindustan Times, “India has consistently conveyed its concerns to both China and Pakistan on the projects in so-called China-Pakistan Economic Corridor which is in the territory that has been illegally occupied by Pakistan since 1947.”  

“China continues to be in occupation of a large tract of area in the Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh. It has also illegally acquired Indian territories from Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK) under the so-called China-Pakistan Boundary Agreement of 1963,” MEA reiterated.

“India has consistently conveyed its concerns to both China and Pakistan on the projects in so-called China-Pakistan Economic Corridor which is in the territory that has been illegally occupied by Pakistan since 1947,” it said as per the Hindustan Times.

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