Dialogue urged to resolve Kashmir disputes

China is opposed to any unilateral actions that complicate the situation in Kashmir, and called on both India and Pakistan to resolve related disputes through peaceful means, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Monday.

In a meeting with visiting Indian Minister of External Affairs Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, Wang said New Delhi’s announcement of the establishment of the Ladakh Union Territory, which involves Chinese territory, has challenged China’s sovereign rights and interests.

The announcement is neither valid in relation to China nor will it change the status quo that China exercises sovereignty and effective administrative jurisdiction over the territory, Wang said.

Jaishankar’s three-day China visit, which began on Sunday, came days after Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi traveled to Beijing amid a Kashmir crisis following India’s decision to revoke the special status of India-controlled Kashmir last week.

Wang said China is highly concerned about the current Kashmir situation and the escalating India-Pakistan conflict. New Delhi’s move to end the constitutional status of India-controlled Kashmir will change the status quo of the disputed area and will result in a tense situation in the region, he added.

Wang urged India and Pakistan to resort to peaceful dialogue to resolve their disputes and jointly safeguard peace and stability in the region.

Saying India’s move doesn’t conform to the agreement between Beijing and New Delhi in upholding peace and tranquillity along the border between the two countries, Wang proposed that India should do more to help enhance mutual trust and safeguard peace and stability in the bordering areas so as to avoid unnecessary disturbance of Sino-Indian relations.

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Jaishankar said India’s amendment to its constitution in terms of the Kashmir issue will not result in a new claim of sovereignty, will not change the cease-fire line between India and Pakistan and will not change the line of actual control along the China-India border.

Jaishankar assured Wang that New Delhi wants to improve ties with Islamabad, and is willing to maintain restraint and safeguard regional peace and stability.

Jaishankar added that his country stands ready to properly resolve the China-India border question through consultation and will honor the consensus that the two nations have reached on promoting tranquillity in the area.

New Delhi is looking forward to the second informal meeting between President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, to be held in India later this year, Jaishankar said. The first such meeting between the two leaders took place in April 2018 in Wuhan, Hubei province.

During their talks, Wang and Jaishankar agreed China and India would expand pragmatic cooperation in such areas as trade, investment and tourism and strengthen exchanges on defense issues.

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