Expressing concern over China's involvement in the Kashmir region, Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah has said India should show "some spine" while dealing with that country.
"I wish India shows some spine while dealing with China," he said.
"At a recent event, the government stood up and said that they will not postpone Dalai Lama's function in Delhi just because the Chinese were coming there to hold border talks. I wish this is a position we take more often.
"China seems to have no problem in calling Kashmir a disputed region. But we are expected to follow a 'One China' policy and not call into question Taiwan's status, or not call into question Tibet's status," Omar observed here last night while speaking at 'Express Adda', the event which is part of a series of conversations with newsmakers, hosted by the Indian Express Group.
"Why is it that China wants us to follow 'One China' policy for them but it won't follow a 'One India' policy for India," he asked.
"Why should they call into question Arunachal Pradesh's status? Why should they call into question parts of Jammu and Kashmir. They are illegal occupants of parts of my state. They need to accept that," he stated.
"I think that for far too long we have been apologetic, both in terms of our relationship with Pakistan and also China which we don't need to be. I think we should deal with China on an equal footing. If they call into question parts of our sovereignty, we have every right to call into question parts of their sovereignty," he asserted.
His statement was greeted with thunderous applause from the gathering.
Omar also spoke of the return of peace to the Valley, doubling of the number of tourists, problems in areas like power and infrastructure.
To a query, he said his government was willing to render all possible help to make Kashmir a favoured destination for Bollywood once again.