World News

Kashmir issue to be ‘major topic’ in Modi-Xi informal summit

New Delhi: China on Tuesday said the Kashmir issue would be a “major topic” of discussion during the planned second informal summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping, a report on Wednesday said, quoting a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said the informal summit would allow the two leaders to discuss whatever issues they needed to pick simply because there was no set agenda for the talks.

“My understanding is that Kashmir will be a major topic occupying the talks,” Hua told reporters at a briefing in Beijing.

“I’m not sure if Kashmir will be on the agenda because this will be an informal summit. I think we need to give the leaders time to discuss whatever they would like to,” she said.

On China’s stand on the resolution of the Kashmir issue, Hua said “We see Kashmir as a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan.”

“We know there were UN resolutions regarding Kashmir. We hope this issue can be resolved through friendly and peaceful negotiations between India and Pakistan,” she added.

The first informal summit between the two leaders was held in Wuhan in April last year and that set the tone for a reworked India-China relationship after the 73-day long face off on Bhutan’s Doklam plateau in 2017.

A report in the Hindustan Times on Wednesday said the second informal summit would take place on 12 October in Chennai.

The Indian foreign ministry has not officially confirmed any date or venue for the second summit.

China and Pakistan have objected to India revoking a temporary provision in its Constitution that gave special status to Kashmir. Both countries have territorial disputes with India which has held that the revocation of Article 370 is an internal issue and does not impact India’s external borders.

China’s interest stems from the fact that India says all of Kashmir is part of its territory, including the Shaksgam valley and Aksai Chin area that are under Chinese occupation. New Delhi has always said Pakistan controlled Kashmir is part of India.

China, the all-weather ally of Pakistan, had helped Islamabad take the Kashmir issue to the UN Security Council last month. But a closed-door meeting of the UNSC, in a snub to both Beijing and Islamabad, ended without any outcome or statement. (Livemint)

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