Ahead of Modi-Xi meet, China refuses to budge on Kashmir

Elias Hubbard
October 9, 2019

The second edition of the informal summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Mamallapuram on October 12-13 could pave the way for the next stage of boundary dispute resolution between the two countries paving way for possible launch of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) clarification process and measures to export additional products to China to reduce India's huge trade deficit, according to persons familiar with the matter.

Monuments like Arjuna's Penance, Krishna's Butterball, Five Rathas and Shore Temple will remain closed from October 8 till the conclusion of the VVIP visit. Modi will hold one-to-one and delegation-level talks with the Chinese president. Hence, elaborate arrangements have been made as per security norm.

China has apparently conveyed to India that it "has not changed its position on the Kashmir issue" and that it wants the issue to be resolved in a peaceful manner bilaterally between India and Pakistan.

"The forthcoming Chennai Informal Summit will provide an opportunity for the two leaders to continue their discussions on overarching issues of bilateral, regional and global importance and to exchange views on deepening India-China Closer Development Partnership", the Indian ministry said in a statement.

The Wednesday's announcement about Xi's visit to India by China, coincides with the ongoing visit of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan and its Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa.

PM Modi and Xi Jinping had their inaugural informal summit in China's Wuhan in April past year. Reports suggest that the two leaders will hold informal talks on October 12 at a five-star hotel overlooking the Bay of Bengal. "Over the past decades, no single bullet has been fired at the China-India border area, and peace and tranquility has been maintained", Sun said.

India says its revocation of the special status of Muslim-majority Kashmir is an internal matter and aimed at faster economic development of the Himalayan territory, also claimed by Pakistan. "This is in line with the common interests of both India and Pakistan and is the common expectation of the countries and the global community", Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang said. China supports Pakistan in safeguarding its independent sovereignty and territorial integrity, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said on Tuesday as he met Khan.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang's comments marked a significant shift on what China has been saying on Kashmir in recent weeks in the aftermath of India's move to revoke Article 370 of the Constitution removing the special status to Kashmir. But more importantly, China refrained from mentioning the UN Security Council resolution and UN charter, as it had done earlier in its statements on Kashmir, including at the UN General Assembly last month.

The second summit is expected to build on the relationship reset that began in Wuhan where Modi and Xi had agreed that "the two countries have the maturity and the wisdom to handle all our differences through peaceful discussion within the context of this overall relationship and bearing in mind that we would respect each other's sensitivities, concerns and aspirations". China claims Arunachal Pradesh as part of southern Tibet while India contests it.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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