China moderates Kashmir stand ahead of Xi’s India visit

Beijing, Oct 8 (IANS) Ahead of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to India for an informal summit with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Beijing on Tuesday moderated its stand on Kashmir, saying the issue should be resolved between India and Pakistan through dialogue and consultation.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang, to a query on Pakistan PM Imran Khan’s ongoing visit and whether the Kashmir issue would figure during talks, said: “China’s position on 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.”
China 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.
The moderation in the Chinese position comes as Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan and Army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa are in Beijing, to further cement the close ties between China and Pakistan.
China has yet to officially announce President Xi’s visit to India for the informal summit with Modi in the seaside town of Mahabalipuram, in Tamil Nadu state, which has been spruced up to host the two leaders.
Imran Khan, who was received by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, will hold talks with the Chinese President Xi Jinping, Premier Li, and other Chinese leaders during his two-day visit.
Bajwa, who has been taking special interest in running of the affairs of Pakistan, will also hold talks with Chinese counterparts during the visit.
On September 27, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi had raised the Kashmir issue in the UN General Assembly.
He said the Kashmir issue is a “dispute left from the past, and should be properly and peacefully resolved based in accordance with the UN Charter, UN Security Council resolutions and bilateral agreements”.
“No actions that would unilaterally change the status quo should be taken.
“As a neighbor of both India and Pakistan, ChinaAhopes to see the dispute effectively managed and stability restored to the relations between the two sides,” he said.

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