Censured world over for its aggressive expansionist policies and globally shamed for orchestrating the violent Galwan Valley clash which led to the death of 20 brave soldiers of the Indian Army, Xi Jingping’s China tried to change the narrative by dubbing India’s Article 37 move ‘illegal’. India sent out a strong rebuttal telling China in no uncertain terms to stay away from India’s internal affairs.
On the first anniversary of abrogation of Article 370, China’s Foreign Ministry said that changes India made to the status of the former state of Jammu and Kashmir by splitting it into two separate union territories last year were “unilateral”, illegal and invalid.
Urging India and Pakistan to resolve the Kashmir dispute through dialogue and consultation, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said that Beijing has been closely following the situation in Kashmir.
“China follows closely the situation in the Kashmir region. China’s position on the Kashmir issue is clear and consistent. This issue is a dispute leftover from history between Pakistan and India. That is an objective fact as laid out by the UN Charter, UN Security Council resolutions and the bilateral agreements between Pakistan and India,” spokesperson Wang Wenbin said during a media briefing on Wednesday.
Dubbing India’s move as being against the tenets of law, he said, “Any unilateral change to the status quo is illegal and invalid. This issue should be properly resolved peacefully through dialogue and consultations between the parties concerned.”
India reacted sharply and Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said, “We have noted the comments of the Chinese MFA spokesperson on the Indian Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir. The Chinese side has no locus standi whatsoever on this matter and is advised not to comment on the internal affairs of other nations.”
Following India’s move to scrap Article 370 which abolished Jammu and Kashmir’s special status, China had in August last year described the move as “unacceptable”, and had urged India to respect Chinese territorial sovereignty.
Highlighting that India and India are neighbours “that cannot be moved away”, Wang Wenbin said, “Co-existence serves the fundamental interests of both and the common aspiration of the international community.”
China’s statement came on a day when Pakistan government observed Yaum-e-Istehsal, or a “day of exploitation”, to protest India’s move on Article 370. Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan incidentally unveiled Pakistan’s new political map on Monday in which it claimed Jammu & Kashmir, Ladakh and parts of Gujarat as a part of its own territory, a move India rubbished and described as “an exercise in political absurdity”.
Meanwhile, Pakistan’s attempt to internationalise Kashmir issue through the United Nations has again “come to naught”, after a UN Security Council meeting, convened by China to discuss the matter, ended without any outcome, India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador T S Tirumurti said.
Another attempt by Pakistan fails!
In today’s meeting of UN Security Council which was closed, informal, not recorded and without any outcome, almost all countries underlined that J&K was bilateral issue & did not deserve time and attention of Council.
— PR UN Tirumurti (@ambtstirumurti) August 5, 2020
He said that many other members of UNSC underlined that Jammu and Kashmir was a bilateral matter between India and Pakistan and also reiterated on the importance of Simla Agreement.
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