India on Thursday took exception to China’s recent statement on Jammu and Kashmir, saying that the bifurcation of the region is entirely an internal matter of the country and it does not expect other nations to comment on its affairs.
“The matter of the reorganisation of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir into the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh is entirely an internal affair of India. We do not expect other countries, including China, to comment on matters which are internal to India, just as India refrains from commenting on internal issues of other countries,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said.
“The Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh are an integral part of India. We respect other countries to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity,” he added.
Kumar noted that China continues to occupy large tracts of areas in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh and has illegally acquired Indian territories from Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) under the China Pakistan Boundary Agreement of 1963.
Kumar said that India has consistently conveyed its concerns to both China and Pakistan on projects under the China-Pakistan economic corridor, “which is in the territory that has been illegally occupied by Pakistan since 1947”.
The spokesperson noted that in so far as the boundary question is concerned, India and China have agreed to seek a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable solution to the issue through peaceful consultations on the basis of political parameters and guiding principles that were agreed in 2005.
He said that the same was recently reiterated in the second India-China informal summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Chennai earlier this month. “In the interim, the two sides have also agreed to maintain peace and tranquillity in the border area.”
Jammu and Kashmir was bifurcated on Thursday into two Union Territories — Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh — in accordance with Indian government’s move to abrogate Article 370 of the Constitution. Commenting on the same, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang today said that the move was “unlawful and void”.