UNSC talks will ease Kashmir tension, most members concerned, says China
Earlier this week, a discussion on Kashmir was taken up at the UNSC after China sought a “closed-door consultation” under “AOB” or “Any Other Business” at the UNSC after listed issues were discussed.Updated: Jan 17, 2020 22:11 IST
China on Friday said a discussion on Kashmir at the UN Security Council (UNSC) would help de-escalate tension in the region and most members of the Council had expressed concern on the current situation there at a UNSC meeting held on Wednesday in New York.
“During this review most UNSC members expressed concern on the current situation, called for restraint and de-escalation. And (that) this should be settled in a peaceful and political way through dialogue,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson, Geng Shuang said on Friday.
“And reviewing in UNSC will help in the de-escalation of tensions and proper settlement. China will continue to play a constructive role in preserving regional peace and stability. The Indian side should properly think about and respond to UNSC requests,” Geng added.
“The UNSC should pay attention to the issue in Kashmir based on the latest developments. And in this region, there are still international observant groups, and it has always been on the UNSC agenda,” he said.
Besides the five permanent UNSC members, 11 other countries were part of the meeting.
The Chinese foreign ministry’s Friday statement is seemingly at odds with what India’s external affairs ministry (MEA) had said on the outcome of the meeting.
Earlier this week, a discussion on Kashmir was taken up at the UNSC after China sought a “closed-door consultation” under “AOB” or “Any Other Business” at the UNSC after listed issues were discussed.
After the meeting, Indian envoy to the UN, Syed Akbaruddin said Pakistan was creating distractions at a time when India has been trying to make efforts to normalise the situation in Kashmir.
“We are happy that neither (the) alarmist scenario painted by the representatives of Pakistan nor any of the baseless allegations made repeatedly by representatives of Pakistan in the UN fora were found to be credible today,” Akbaruddin was quoted as saying by PTI.
“We are glad that the effort was viewed as a distraction and it was pointed out by many friends that bilateral mechanisms are available to raise and address issues that Pakistan may have in its ties with India,” he said.
Geng, however, said most UNSC members were worried about the situation in the region.
“China’s position is consistent and clear. This issue is a dispute left from history and should be properly resolved following the UN charter, UNSC resolutions, and bilateral treaties and in a peaceful way,” he said.
“And as requested by Pakistan, the Security Council reviewed the Kashmir issue on January 15. The UNSC members are concerned about the current situation and they called the relevant parties to observe the charter and resolve disputes peacefully through political dialogue and exercise restraint and work on de-escalation,” Geng added.
“I would like to say that the issue on Kashmir has always been on UNSC agenda and UNSC must pay attention to the situation in Kashmir based upon the latest developments,” he said.
When asked to respond to why India then believes that apart from China other countries did not express support for China’s standpoint, Geng said: “India’s attitude and views, we understand them. But what I said was China’s views and stance. I believe that India is aware of that and we have been in contact on that”.
On whether China’s taking up the Kashmir issue at the UNSC could impact bilateral ties, the spokesperson added: “I think China participates actively in the Kashmir issue in the Security Council; because we want to work for de-escalation and work for regional peace and stability. This is out of goodwill. However, if the Indian side interprets in another way, I think that will be a wrong interpretation”.
Geng added that China calls on India and Pakistan to enhance dialogue, mutual trust on this, and exercise restraint, work for de-escalation. As a responsible country, we have been in contact with both India and Pakistan, and are playing a constructive role in this.
When asked about India inviting Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan for a Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) meeting later this year, Geng said, “Both countries we hope can work together closely under this framework for the healthy development of this organisation. India and Pakistan are important countries in South Asia and I hope they can resolve their issues through dialogue and improve their relations.”