Conflict

A year after Article 370 abrogation, China says India’s move in JK ‘illegal, invalid’

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New Delhi: A year after the Indian government stripped Jammu and Kashmir of its semi-autonomous status, revoked its statehood and split the erstwhile state into two Union Territories on August 5, 2019, China has termed the move by India as “illegal and invalid.”

According to a report published by a Delhi based newspaper Hindustan Times, China has also called on India and Pakistan to resolve the dispute over Kashmir through dialogue and consultations.

Responding to a query on the impact of New Delhi’s decision one year later, the report quoted Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin, saying that Beijing has been closely following the situation in Kashmir.

“China follows closely the situation in the Kashmir region. China’s position on the Kashmir issue is clear and consistent. This issue is a dispute leftover from history between Pakistan and India. That is an objective fact as laid out by the UN Charter, UN Security Council resolutions and the bilateral agreements between Pakistan and India,” Hindustan Times quoted spokesperson Wenbin as having said during the regular ministry briefing on Wednesday.

He said that any unilateral change to the status quo is “illegal and invalid”.

“This issue should be properly resolved peacefully through dialogue and consultations between the parties concerned,” Wenbin said.

Wenbin, according to the report, added that Pakistan and India are neighbours and “that cannot be moved away. Co-existence serves the fundamental interests of both and the common aspiration of the international community.”

Besides Kashmir issue, Wang hoped that two countries – India and China, could properly handle differences through dialogue, improve relations and jointly safeguard peace, security and development of both countries and the wider region.

In 2019, China had called the move “unacceptable,” urging New Delhi to respect Chinese territorial sovereignty and uphold peace and tranquillity in the border areas referring to Aksai Chin, which China controls but New Delhi claims as part of the new union territory of Ladakh.

In response to China’s report, India had then said that proposal to form new Union Territories including that of Ladakh was an “internal matter.”

Earlier on Tuesday, the JK administration listed three dozen achievements from last year after the erstwhile state was bifurcated into two Union Territories – JK and Ladakh, on August 5, 2019.

The report card of the “achievements” prepared by the JK administration was sent to the office of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), India.

According to the report card, JK administration has made progress in the spheres of education, health, power and land reforms with special focus on providing education, training and job opportunities to its youth.

The new “achievement list” includes the opening of 50 new degree colleges offering a total of 25,000 seats, seven new medical colleges with 1,400 extra medical, paramedical seats, five new nursing colleges and one state cancer institute.

 

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