BEIJING — China on Thursday voiced its opposition to India’s reported plans to hold the next year’s meeting of G-20 leaders in Jammu and Kashmir, echoing close ally Pakistan’s objection, and underlined that relevant sides should avoid “politicising” the issue.
“We have noted relevant information,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian told a media briefing here on Thursday while replying to a question from the official media.
“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 UN resolutions and bilateral agreements,” Zhao said.
He said the “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.”
Stating that G-20 is a premier forum for international economic cooperation, Zhao said “we call on relevant sides to focus on economic recovery and avoid politicising the relevant issue so as to make a positive contribution to improving the global economic governance”.
Asked whether China, a member of G-20, would attend the meeting, he said, “whether we attend the meeting, we will look into that.”
To another question that China is building the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor 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.
On June 25, Pakistan said it rejected India’s attempt to hold a meeting of G20 countries in Kashmir, hoping that members of the grouping will be fully cognisant of the imperatives of law and justice and would oppose the proposal outright.
Jammu and Kashmir will be hosting the 2023 meetings of G-20, an influential grouping that brings together the world’s major economies, with the union territory administration last Thursday setting up a five-member high-level committee for overall coordination.
This will be the first major international summit expected to be held in Jammu and Kashmir after its special status guaranteed under Article 370 of the Constitution was withdrawn and the erstwhile state was divided into two union territories in August 2019.
Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Asim Iftikhar Ahmad said in a statement that Islamabad had taken note of news items appearing in the Indian media indicating that India might be contemplating to hold some G20-related meeting in Jammu and Kashmir.
“Pakistan completely rejects any such attempt by India,” Ahmad said.
He said it was a well-known fact that Jammu and Kashmir is an internationally recognised disputed territory between Pakistan and India, and has remained on the agenda of the United Nations Security Council for over seven decades.
He hoped that in case of any such controversial proposal from India, the G20 members will be fully cognisant of the imperatives of law and justice and would reject it outright. — (PTI)