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Thursday, June 8, 2023

G20 meeting in J&K: China opposes India’s plan

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian says the relevant sides should avoid "politicising" the issue that may "complicate" the situation.

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China on Thursday opposed India’s reported plans to hold the following year’s meeting of G-20 leaders in Jammu and Kashmir, underlining that the relevant sides should avoid “politicising” the issue that may “complicate” the situation.

During a media briefing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said, “We have noted relevant information.”

He said, “China’s position on Kashmir is consistent and clear cut. It is a legacy issue between India and Pakistan. It should be properly resolved in accordance with the relevant United Nations (UN) resolutions and bilateral agreement. Relevant parties should avoid complicating the situation with the unilateral move. We need to address the disputes through dialogue and consultation and jointly uphold peace and stability,” he said.

Read more: Pakistan to approach G-20 against Indian ambition to hold summit in disputed region

“We call on all major economies to focus on the steady recovery of the world economy, avoid politicising relevant cooperation and make positive contributions to improving global economic governance.” Zhao said, adding that the G20 is a premier forum for international economic and financial cooperation.

Asked whether China would attend the meeting, he said, “We will look at whether China will attend the meeting.”

To another question that China is building the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in the disputed region in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) and India’s objections over it, Zhao said, “the two matters are completely different in nature. China has undertaken projects to help Pakistan to grow its economy and improve livelihoods.”

“Some of those projects are in the Kashmir part that is under the control of Pakistan. Relevant Chinese companies who run the projects do so with the aim of helping the local people to develop the economy and improve their livelihoods,” he said.

“That doesn’t mean our position on Kashmir has changed,” he said.

Read more: China backed Indian move of keeping Pakistan out of the BRICS plus event

On June 25, Pakistan rejected India’s attempt to hold a meeting of G20 countries in Kashmir, saying that it hopes “the G20 members will be fully cognisant of the imperatives of law and justice” and would reject the proposal outright.

In a statement, Foreign Office (FO) spokesperson Asim Iftikhar Ahmad said, “Pakistan strongly urged the international community to call upon India to end its gross and systematic violations of human rights in IIOJK, revoke its illegal and unilateral actions of August 5 2019, and free all political prisoners including the true Kashmiri leaders.”

“The only way to lasting peace in South Asia is by granting the people of the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir their inalienable right to self-determination as pledged to them in the relevant UN Security Council resolutions,” the statement added.