China calls India’s move to scrap Kashmir’s special status ‘not acceptable’ and not binding

08-Aug-2019 Intellasia | South China Morning Post | 6:02 AM Print This Post

China has called India’s move to abolish Kashmir’s special status “not acceptable” and said it was not binding, following condemnation from Pakistan.

“Recently India has continued to hurt Chinese sovereignty by unilaterally changing domestic law,” Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said on Tuesday.

She reiterated that India’s claim over Ladakh, as part of Kashmir, involved Chinese land.

“This act is not acceptable and won’t be in any sense binding,” Hua said.

Beijing urged New Delhi to abide by bilateral agreements and avoid acts that would further complicate the border issues, she said.

India’s decision on Monday to strip Kashmir of the special autonomy it has enjoyed for seven decades also prompted protests in Pakistan, which administers part of the Himalayan region.

The upper house of India’s parliament also passed a bill proposing the state of Jammu and Kashmir which includes the Kashmir Valley and the Ladakh area be split into two federal territories. Jammu and Kashmir will have a state legislature, and Ladakh will be ruled directly by New Delhi.

Beijing said the Ladakh area involved territory in the disputed China-India border region. India claims parts of Aksai Chin which is administered by China in its far western Xinjiang region as territory in Ladakh.

Kashmir has been divided between India and Pakistan since their independence in 1947. For three decades the Indian-administered part the country’s only Muslim-majority state has been in the grip of an insurgency that has claimed tens of thousands of lives.

India’s move had already rattled Pakistan and other Muslim countries.

Islamabad condemned New Delhi’s decision to abolish Kashmir’s special status as “illegal”, insisting it was an internationally recognised disputed territory.

The office of Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan called both his Malaysian counterpart, Mahathir Mohamad, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to warn that the move could have “serious implications” for regional security and “was in clear violation” of UN Security Council resolutions.

Refugees in Pakistani-held Kashmir meanwhile voiced fears for relatives on the other side of the disputed Himalayan border. Many of the roughly 250 people in the Manak Paiyan refugee camp near Muzaffarabad, the largest city in Pakistani-held Kashmir, fled fighting in the 1990s but still have family on the other side of the Line of Control, the de facto border slicing through the heavily militarised region.

Washington has urged respect for rights and called for the maintenance of peace along the de facto border in Kashmir.

Tensions between China and India have periodically flared along their 4,000km (2,485-mile) border, resulting in a brief war in 1962. Beijing and New Delhi have made efforts to repair their relations since a tense stand-off two years ago at the Doklam plateau, which is claimed by India’s ally Bhutan.

On Monday, Indian prime minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party rushed through a presidential decree to remove from the country’s constitution an article that granted special autonomy to the Kashmir region and prevented non-natives from purchasing property or holding government jobs there.

The bill proposing the Indian-administered part of Kashmir be divided into two regions directly ruled by New Delhi still needs to be ratified by parliament.


Category: China

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