New Delhi: China on Tuesday said that Kashmir won’t be a ‘major issue’ during the planned second informal meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Narendra Modi when they meet in India in October, most likely in the historic coastal town of Mamallapuram in Tamil Nadu.
Speaking to reporters in Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said, “I’m not sure if Kashmir will be discussed as this will be an informal summit. We should give the two leaders time to discuss whatever they’d like to.”
She added that President Xi and Prime Minister Modi will discuss issues of larger strategic importance rather than one or two specific issues. On Kashmir, she said, “We see Kashmir as a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan. We hope that this issue can be resolved through friendly and peaceful negotiations between New Delhi and Islamabad.”
Tensions have escalated between India and Pakistan after New Delhi, on August 5, revoked Article 370 of its Constitution, thus nullifying the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and further bifurcated it into two separate union territories (UTs) of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.
China, in its capacity as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), had in August, called for closed-door consultations of the body to discuss the Kashmir issue, at the behest of its aide Pakistan. However, in a major setback to the two, the UNSC refused to come out with any resolution or statement on the issue.
The first informal summit between Prime Minister Modi and President Xi was held in April 2018 in the central Chinese city of Wuhan. The two leaders also recently met on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.