Ahead of India-China informal summit, Beijing calls for dialogue between India, Pak over Kashmir issue

In an apparent softening of its stance over the abrogation of Article 370, China has called for dialogue as a “way forward” for India and Pakistan on the Kashmir issue.

China also lauded Beijing and New Delhi’s relationship and said that the two sides have “steadily advanced cooperation” in various fields and have properly managed differences.

“China and India are important neighbours to each other. Both are large developing countries as well as major emerging markets. Since the Wuhan Informal Summit last year, China-India relations have shown sound momentum of development,” Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang said on Tuesday.

“The two sides have steadily advanced cooperation in various fields and properly manage differences and sensitive issues,” he added.

Shuang said, “China’s position on the issue of Kashmir is consistent and clear. We call on India and Pakistan to step up dialogue on disputes including the Kashmir issue to enhance mutual trust and improve relations. It serves the common interests of both India and Pakistan and represents the shared expectation of regional countries and the international community.”

The remarks come days ahead of Chinese President Xi Jinping scheduled visit to India for an informal summit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It may be noted that Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan is in Beijing for his three-day visit. He is expected to raise the issue of Kashmir with the Chinese leadership.

The recent remarks appear to be the most conciliatory one that has appeared from China in the last two months since India had abrogated Article 370 on August 05, which gave special status to the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

India’s historic step did not go well with China and Pakistan. China raised concern over the matter and released a statement calling the abrogation of the special status a “unilateral step” by India.

Moreover, China, on the behest of it all weather-ally Pakistan, also called for a closed-door meeting in the United Nations. However, India has made it clear that the reorganisation of Jammu and Kashmir will have no impact on China.

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