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China Involved in Diplomacy with Pakistan and India over Situation in Jammu and Kashmir

Aug. 10, 2019 (EIRNS)—The situation in Jammu and Kashmir following India’s announcement that it will change J&K’s status from an autonomous state to three federally administered territories, continues to be tense. Today in Beijing, Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi met with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. Qureshi arrived Aug. 9, immediately following the trip’s announcement, right after the Pakistan National Defense Committee met on Aug. 7, during which Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan “directed that all diplomatic channels be activated to expose the brutal Indian racist regime.”

Indian External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar will start a three-day visit to China on Aug. 11-13, that was announced Aug. 5, at the invitation of Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. The two will address the fourth India-China Media Summit Aug. 12, and co-chair the second China-India High Level Mechanism on Cultural and People-to-People Exchanges. In October, China’s President Xi Jinping and India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi have a scheduled, informal meeting.

Today, after the Pakistani and Chinese foreign ministers met, Wang expressed serious concern about escalating tensions between India and Pakistan, and said the dispute should be resolved peacefully based on the UN Charter, relevant UN Security Council resolutions and the bilateral accord—an apparent reference to the Shimla Agreement, which calls for the issue to be solved bilaterally.

According to Press Trust of India (PTI), Wang said, “We call on the two sides to bear in mind their national development and peace in South Asia, properly resolve historical grievances, get rid of the zero-sum mindset, avoid unilateral action and seek a new path to peaceful coexistence.”

There are many commentaries of concern over the situation of Kashmir and Jammu. Sputnik interviewed Associate Prof. Long Xingchun, the director of the Center for Indian Studies at China West Normal University, who warned,

“If we talk about the impact on theregional situation, then I believe that Muslims in the Indian-controlled part of Kashmir, including some armed groups, will definitely take retaliatory measures. They may even choose an armed struggle as a form of protest. Since Pakistan may have something to do with their actions, it is very likely that a military conflict could erupt between India and Pakistan. In this case, it will indirectly affect the regions neighboring China and Sino-Indian relations.”

Long told Sputnik that he believes India made this move for nationalist reasons and intends to dilute the Muslim population in the region by resettling Hindus in the region which up until now was forbidden. But Long also attributed the history of the tensions to the British Empire, saying, “This is the result of the partition of British India into the separate states of India and Pakistan.”

On the question of India changing Ladakh’s status regarding China, Long stated that China has always opposed India’s inclusion of this territory, but

“in my opinion, the direct impact on India-China relations will not be grave. China traditionally adheres to the position that Ladakh is part of Chinese territory, but there is no official demarcation yet, the parties are still negotiating.... From the point of view of diplomatic etiquette, this is disrespect for China.”

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