India has ruled out any scope of discussion between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping on the Kashmir issue, asserting that all countries, including Beijing, have been told categorically and clearly that abrogation of Article 370 is totally an “internal matter” of New Delhi.
Government sources quoted by news agency ANI said that India does not see Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to China ahead of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to India as ‘hyphenation” and added that “it is of no concern to India”.
The Chinese President will be in India on a two-day visit starting Friday, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Xi Jinping holding the second informal summit near Chennai on October 11 and 12.
The announcement was made by the Ministry of External Affairs earlier on Wednesday.
The upcoming Chennai summit will provide them with an opportunity to continue discussions on bilateral, regional, global issues and exchange views on deepening India-China Closer Development Partnership, the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.
PM Modi and President Xi Jinping had their inaugural informal summit in Wuhan, China on 27 and 28 April, last year.
Meanwhile, according to sources quoted by ANI, no agreements, Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) or a joint communique are expected to be signed during Jinping’s visit to India, since it is an informal meeting.
According to reports, the Chinese President will be accompanied by the country’s foreign minister and Politburo members.
PM Modi will hold one-to-one and delegation-level talks with the Chinese President. Meeting between the two leaders has no specific agenda. The focus of the meeting is on improving people-to-people contacts and on how to maintain peace and tranquillity along on India-China border.
Also, terrorism and terror funding/support/sourcing are likely to come up during the talks. Modi and Jinping are also likely to decide dates for the next Special Representatives talks.
India and China will jointly hold anti-terror exercise in December 2019, the government sources added.
Ahead of the informal summit between the two leaders, China has moderated its stand on Kashmir, saying the issue should be resolved between India and Pakistan through dialogue and consultation.
“China’s position on the Kashmir issue is clear and consistent. We call on India and Pakistan to engage in dialogue and consultation on all issues including Kashmir issue and consolidate mutual trust. This is in line with the interest of both countries and common aspiration of the world,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang had said on Tuesday.
China also refrained from mentioning the UN Security Council resolution and UN charter, as it had done earlier in its statements on Kashmir, including at the UN General Assembly last month.
“Our position is very clear that matters related to the Constitution are sovereign issues. There is no question of a discussion unless the President of China wants to understand it,” government sources were quoted as saying by NDTV hours after China made its stand on Kashmir clear.
The sources further said that there has been “needless speculation” on why the Chinese President’s visit was not announced earlier.
Over the issue of Ladakh, they said that India claims “a certain boundary in our maps, that’s our perception and the Chinese have their perception of the boundary and those haven’t changed after making Ladakh a Union Territory”.
Ties between the two countries strained when India scrapped Jammu and Kashmir’s autonomy and bifurcated the state into two Union territories of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh, which will come into being on October 31.