China called India’s formation of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) and Ladakh union territories illegal and void and said some part of the region is under China’s control.
“China deplores and firmly opposes this,” Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang said during a press conference on Thursday.
Jammu and Kashmir was divided on Thursday into two union territories, Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, in accordance with the Indian government’s August 5 announcement revoking the state’s special status under Article 370.
The Chinese spokesperson said, “India is challenging China’s sovereign rights and interests by unilaterally revising domestic law and administrative division. This is illegal, null and void. It will neither change the fact that the relevant region is under China’s actual control nor produce any effect.”
He said China’s position on the Kashmir issue is consistent and clear. “It is a dispute left over from history and should be resolved properly and peacefully in accordance with the UN Charter, relevant Security Council resolutions and bilateral agreements. Parties to the issue should resolve disputes through dialogue and consultation to maintain peace and stability in the region,” a statement said.
In reply to the Chinese statement, Indian Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said the matter is an internal affair of India.
“We do not expect other countries, including China, to comment on the matters which are internal to India, just as India refrains from commenting on internal issues of other countries,” Kumar said.
Talking about China’s relationship with India, the Chinese representative said, “President Xi and Prime Minister Modi planned to deepen cooperation in various sectors, including in people-to-people and cultural exchange. There has been rapid progress in this area in the past few years with many outcomes.”
China stands ready to work with India to further strengthen the cultural and people-to-people bond for better bilateral relations, Shuang said.
Referring to China-Pakistan relations, he said, “It [Pakistan] is China’s all-weather strategic cooperative partner and the China-Pakistan friendship is unbreakable.”