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Friday, Dec 13, 2019

China’s concerns on removal of Article 370 in J&K misplaced, says Indian envoy

Indian envoy to China, Vikram Misri told Chinese journalists that Article 370, which gave special status to J&K, was a “temporary and transitional” provision of the Indian Constitution and the “Amendment of Article 370 was a purely internal matter, and the sole prerogative of India”.

india Updated: Aug 28, 2019 19:27 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis
Sutirtho Patranobis
Sutirtho Patranobis, Beijing
Indian envoy to China made it clear that reorganisation of Jammu and Kashmir doesn’t affect either the external boundaries or the LAC between India and China
Indian envoy to China made it clear that reorganisation of Jammu and Kashmir doesn’t affect either the external boundaries or the LAC between India and China(AP Photo, File)
         

India’s envoy to China attempted to allay Beijing’s concerns over revocation of Jammu and Kashmir’s (J&K) special status, by calling it India’s internal matter which had no implications for the festering Sino-India boundary dispute on Tuesday. Indian envoy’s bid to clear the air comes ahead of the second “informal summit” between Chinese President Xi Jinping and PM Narendra Modi in October.

Vikram Misri told Chinese journalists that Article 370, which gave special status to J&K, was a “temporary and transitional” provision of the Indian Constitution and the “Amendment of Article 370 was a purely internal matter, and the sole prerogative of India”.

A day after Article 370 was removed on August 5, China, which occupies Aksai Chin region in Ladakh, had reacted sharply by describing the move to change Ladakh’s status from a state to a union territory as “unacceptable”.

First, visiting external affairs minister, S Jaishankar, and now Ambassador Misri has made New Delhi’s position clear to Beijing.

Misri said the move had “…no implication for either the external boundaries of India or the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China. India was not raising any additional territorial claims. The Chinese concerns in this regard were therefore misplaced.”

Misri, according to a statement from the Indian embassy, pointed out that the change was “intended to enable good governance” and provide “social and economic justice” to the people of the state of J&K, affording them “the same rights” available to citizens in other parts of India.

On the India-China boundary question, New Delhi maintains that the two sides had agreed to a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable settlement on the basis of the 2005 Political Parametres and Guiding Principles.

India’s stand over the boundary issue had been explained by Jaishankar during his recent visit to Beijing.

India and China have held 21 rounds of talks so far to resolve the differences over the 3,488-km long LAC.

On the forthcoming second “informal summit” between Chinese President Xi Jinping and PM Narendra Modi in October, Misri said similar to the first edition held at Wuhan last year, the two leaders could discuss regional, international and bilateral issues and that the format of the meeting was conducive to this.

In response to a question on the 5G technology trials in India, Misri said that no decision had been taken by New Delhi.

“Any decision in this regard would be taken on the basis of India’s national interest and not in response to any kind of external pressure,” he said.

India’s upcoming 5G trials are likely to be watched keenly in the background of the US trying to put in place a global ban on Huawei’s 5G equipment alleging cyber-spying concerns.

China has called on India to make an independent call on permitting Huawei to be part of the 5G trials.