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WION Edit: China not backing Pakistan on Kashmir

File photo: Chinese President Xi Jinping, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan. Photograph:( Reuters )

WION New Delhi Aug 08, 2019, 08.01 PM (IST) Written By: Shastri Ramachandaran

In the aftermath of Jammu and Kashmir being stripped of its special status, China keeping a cool and calculated distance from the issue is in stark contrast to Pakistan blowing hot and cold.

China has an interest in Kashmir because of Aksai Chin and issues over the Line of Actual Control (LAC). Its reaction is of greater consequence than that of the other P-5 members, including the US

China’s reaction, from its Foreign Ministry spokesman on August 6, to Ladakh’s changed status as a Union Territory and the “current situation” in J & K were a matter-of-fact reiteration of its position, made explicit in the past too.

On Ladakh, China emphasised that its “firm and consistent position remains unchanged”, which is: that a part of Ladakh belongs to China; India should not change facts on the ground; China would find such changes unacceptable; and changes “will not (be allowed to) come into force”.

This was to be expected. Ladakh becoming a Union Territory might mean changes on the ground – and China was cautioning against it.

On the current situation, there was no direct reference to abrogation of Article 370. The spokesman reiterated that “China's position on the Kashmir issue as such is clear and consistent”. China is part of the “international consensus” on the Kashmir issue being a historical conundrum, and in dealing with which India and Pakistan should exercise restraint and prudence.

China asked India and Pakistan to peacefully resolve their “relevant disputes” through dialogue and consultation.

None of these responses indicate the least tilt towards “all-weather friend” Pakistan or China’s intent of wading in to the situation developing between India and Pakistan.

Thus, so far, if Pakistan has been unable to sway China on the present situation, it is unlikely to succeed in goading the international community to act at its behest.

Shastri Ramachandaran

The author, Editorial Consultant for WION, is a political and foreign affairs commentator.

Story highlights

China has an interest in Kashmir because of Aksai Chin and issues over the Line of Actual Control (LAC). Its reaction is of greater consequence than that of the other P-5 members, including the US