Ahead of PM Modi-Prez Xi meet this week, a shift in China’s Kashmir stand
The change in Beijing’s position comes on a day when Prime Minister Imran Khan is in Beijing, and days ahead of President Xi Jinping’s India visit where he will have the second round of the “informal summit” with Prime Minister, Narendra Modi.Updated: Oct 08, 2019 16:35 IST
China on Tuesday said the issue of Kashmir should be resolved between India and Pakistan through dialogue and consultation, omitting the recent references Beijing had made about addressing the dispute in accordance with the UN Charter, UN Security Council resolutions and bilateral agreement.
The change in Beijing’s position comes on a day when Prime Minister Imran Khan is in Beijing, and days ahead of President Xi Jinping’s India visit where he will have the second round of the “informal summit” with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
China will announce President Xi’s visit to India, and possibly Nepal, later this week at a special briefing on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Khan will meet Xi, Premier Li Keqiang and head of China’s Parliament, National People’s Congress chief, Li Zhansu during his visit, his third this year.
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Pakistan army chief, General Qamar Javed Bajwa will hold a series of high-level meetings including with his People’s Liberation Army counterpart.
Answering a query on Khan’s visit and whether Kashmir was discussed, foreign ministry spokesperson, Geng Shuang said Beijing’s stand on the dispute has been consistent.
“And, so you are paying attention to the Kashmir issue, right? China’s position on Kashmir issue is clear and consistent. We call on India and Pakistan to engage in dialogue and consultation on all issues including Kashmir issue and consolidate mutual trust. This is in line with the interest of both countries and common aspiration of the world,” Geng said at the regular foreign ministry briefing on Wednesday.
Geng didn’t elaborate on Beijing’s departure from its recent statements on Kashmir.
“The Kashmir issue should be peacefully and properly addressed in accordance with the UN Charter, Security Council resolutions and bilateral agreement,” foreign minister, Wang Yi had said during the recent UN General Assembly.
Elaborating on Khan’s visit and the importance of China-Pakistan friendship, Geng spoke about the China-Pakistan all-weather friendship.
“China attaches great importance to the visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan. He will meet with President Xi Jinping, Prime Minister Li Keqiang and Chairman Li Zhanshu will meet and have talks with Prime Minister Imran Khan and exchange views, and sign cooperation document,” he said.
“Prime Minister Khan will also attend the closing ceremony of International Horticultural Exhibition. China and Pakistan are all-weather strategic cooperation partners. We have a good tradition of close exchange and communication. We have strategic mutual trust and advancing practical cooperation. Our cooperation in the China-Pakistan Economic Cooperation (CPEC) is bringing more outcomes to our peoples,” he added.
Geng didn’t share details about Bajwa’s visit.
Neither did Geng announce or confirm Xi’s India visit at today’s press conference.
When asked about it, he said: “Both (India and China) are major developing countries of the world and major emerging markets. Since the Wuhan informal summit, our bilateral relations have gathered good momentum. We have been advancing our cooperation and properly managing our differences.”
“We have a tradition of high-level exchange and our two sides are maintaining communication on high-level exchange in the next phase. We should make a good atmosphere and environment for this,” he added.