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Wednesday 3 June 2020

China toes India line on Kashmir: Another diplomatic coup by Modi govt

China had in March, even before the scrapping of Article 370 by India, cold-shouldered Pakistan's urge to send its envoy to both New Delhi as well as Islamabad to virtually mediate in the Kashmir issue, much as it still stands with its all-weather ally at UN forums

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Beijing: China, the all-weather friend of Pakistan, has disappointed its ally on the Kashmir issue. India’s northern neighbour had hitherto remained Pakistan’s sole supporter and sympathiser in the international community after even the Islamic world rejected Imran Khan’s outreach following the Narendra Modi government’s act of turning Article 370 defunct. Spokesman of the foreign ministry of China Hua Chunying said on Wednesday that her country saw Kashmir as a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan.

A second informal meeting between Prime Minister Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping may be held soon, but its time is yet to be determined. According to Chinese officials, there will be no discussion on the Kashmir issue between the two leaders during this time. Since the removal of Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir, there has been tension between India and Pakistan. At the same time, Pakistan is a close ally of China.

Hua Chunying, the spokeswoman for China’s foreign ministry, said, “I don’t think Kashmir will be on the agenda of this meeting because it will be an informal summit. What Modi and Jinping want should be left to them. ”

Kashmir is India-Pakistan bilateral issue: China

Regarding the resolution of the Kashmir issue, the Chinese spokesman said, “We see Kashmir as a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan. We hope that friendly and peaceful dialogue between the two countries will resolve this issue.”

China has, however, called for a meeting on the Kashmir issue in the UN, where the other permanent members of the Security Council have been averse to internationalising the matter.

China had convened a closed-door meeting at the United Nations on the Kashmir issue last month in collaboration with Pakistan. It included five permanent members of the Security Council and 10 temporary members, including China. However, the meeting ended without any result or statement. Most of the countries stood with India.

Even before the virtual abrogation of Article 370, China had in March this year cold-shouldered Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi’s urge to send its envoy to both India and Pakistan to resolve the Kashmir issue.

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