India takes strong position, tells China Art 370 change is “internal matter”
GN Bureau | August 13, 2019
India has told China that the legislation changing the status of Jammu and Kashmir was “an internal matter.
External affairs minister S Jaishankar, visiting China Monday, told foreign minister Wang Yi that the legislative measures were aimed at promoting better governance and socio-economic development. India also clarified that there was no implication for either the external boundaries of India or the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China. Also, “India was not raising any additional territorial claims,” according to an official statement of the ministry of external affairs, and “the Chinese concerns in this regard were therefore misplaced.”
Jaishankar also conveyed to his Chinese counterpart that so far as the India-China boundary question was concerned the two sides had agreed to a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable settlement of the Boundary Question on the basis of the 2005 Political Parameters and Guiding Principles.
The Chinese foreign minister also referred to rising tensions between India and Pakistan as a result of the Modi government’s August 5 move to render Article 370, granting special status to the border state, ineffective. Jaishankar that these changes had no bearing on Pakistan as it was “an internal matter”, and “it did not impact the LoC”.
“Where India-Pakistan relations are concerned, Chinese side should base its assessment on realities. India, as a responsible power, had shown restraint in face of provocative Pakistani rhetoric and actions. India has always stood for normalisation of the ties in an atmosphere free of terror,” the statement said.
Jaishankar was in China for the 2nd meeting of the High Level Mechanism on Cultural and People-to-People Exchanges. He had a cordial meeting with vice president Wang Qishan in the morning where he discussed the evolving global situation and the larger rebalancing that reflected the rise of India and China as two large developing countries.
He thereafter had detailed discussions with foreign minister Wang Yi. They discussed the full gamut of issues relating to the international situation, regional aspects and the bilateral relations including the visit of president Xi Jinping to India for the 2nd Informal Summit later this year and celebrating the 70th Anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations next year.
Jaishankar also stressed that the future of the India-China relationship will obviously depend on “mutual sensitivity to each other’s core concerns”. It is natural, both as neighbours and large developing economies, that there would be issues in the ties; therefore properly managing differences is vital.
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