China calls on Pakistan, India to peacefully resolve disputes through dialogue
BEIJING (92 News) – Voicing serious concern over the situation in Kashmir, China on Tuesday asked Pakistan and India to exercise restraint and avoid actions that unilaterally change the status quo and exacerbate tensions between the two countries.
“China is seriously concerned about the current situation in Kashmir,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said in a written response to the Indian government’s move to revoke Article 370 which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir.
“China’s position on the Kashmir issue is clear and consistent. This issue is a legacy of history between India and Pakistan, which is also the consensus of the international community,” Hua said.
“We call on the two sides to peacefully resolve relevant disputes through dialogue and consultation and safeguard regional peace and stability”, she said.
China also expressed its opposition to India’s move to create a separate Union Territory of Ladakh.
India scraps special status for Occupied Kashmir
On Monday, India revoked the special status of Kashmir, the Himalayan region that has long been a flashpoint in ties with Pakistan.
In the most far-reaching political move in one of the world’s most militarised regions in nearly seven decades, India said it would scrap a constitutional provision that allows its state of Jammu and Kashmir to make its own laws.
“The entire constitution will be applicable to Jammu and Kashmir,” Interior Minister Amit Shah told parliament.
The Indian government also lifted a ban on property purchases by non-residents, opening the way for Indians to invest and settle there, just as they can elsewhere in India, although the measure is likely to provoke a backlash in the region.
Pakistan, which also claims Kashmir, said it strongly condemned the decision, which is bound to further strain ties between the nuclear-armed rivals. “As the party to this international dispute, Pakistan will exercise all possible options to counter the illegal steps,” the Pakistan Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
India and Pakistan have fought two of their three wars over Kashmir, convulsed by a nearly 30-year armed revolt in which tens of thousands of people have died, with hundreds of thousands of Indian troops deployed to quell it.
The Indian government has also decided to split the state into two federal territories, one formed by Jammu and Kashmir, and the other consisting of the enclave of Ladakh, citing internal security considerations.