China on Tuesday said the Kashmir issue may not be a “major topic” of discussion during the planned 2nd informal summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping, in spite of Beijing backing its all-weather ally Pakistan over the issue.
A senior Chinese official said it should be left to PM Modi and Xi Jinping to discuss what they wish to.
“I’m not sure if Kashmir will be on the agenda because this will be an informal summit. I think we need to give the leaders time to discuss whatever they would like to,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told reporters in Beijing.
“My understanding is that Kashmir will not be a major topic occupying the talks,” she added.
On August 5, India ended special status to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 and decided to bifurcate the state two Union Territories — Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.
Following this, Pakistan wrote a formal letter to the UNSC president calling for an emergency meeting of the UNSC to discuss India’s move to revoke the special status to Jammu and Kashmir. The letter was sent through Permanent Representative Maleha Lodhi to convene the meeting.
China, its all-weather ally, then asked for “closed-door” meeting on the matter after assuring Pakistan of its support and commitment at the UN.
However, in a major diplomatic victory for India, the United Nations Security Council acknowledged India’s measures to bring normalcy and development to Kashmir and wanted all countries to follow suit.
Barring China, the world accepted India’s position including the Arab world, formerly sponsors and supporters of Pakistan.
Majority of the 15 members said there should not be any statement or outcome issued after the consultations and their will prevailed, leaving China to come out and make a statement in its national capacity followed by Pakistan.
Meanwhile, dismissing the recent scuffle between Indian and Chinese troops in Ladakh as a “face-off” that was resolved, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Tuesday said the second informal summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping, set for October in India, would be held in “as warm a spirit as Wuhan”.
Jaishankar said it was not a skirmish but a face-off that was resolved using the bilateral mechanisms. He also said it took place due to differing perceptions about the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
Jaishankar declined to reveal the venue of the second informal summit.
However, he said it would “be held in as warm a spirit as Wuhan, or maybe warmer depending on the temperature of the location of that place. But my sense is the commitment to have those kinds of conversations remains strong on both sides.”
He said as part of the Wuhan spirit, “the leaders of the two important countries spent two days in great comfort, open conversation with each other on a range of subjects. In the past, most conversations were choreographed with a set agenda. This was free-wheeling.”
“It is important for both India and China, which are rising powers, to find equilibriums because each has their own expectations of the world and of each other,” he said.
(With agency inputs)