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Days Ahead of Wang Yi's Visit to India, China Tests Waters on Kashmir Issue in UNSC

China had toned down its stand on the Kashmir issue ahead of President Xi Jinping's visit to India, stressing on the need for dialogue between India and Pakistan to settle the issue.

Maha Siddiqui | CNN-News18

Updated:December 18, 2019, 1:53 PM IST
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Days Ahead of Wang Yi's Visit to India, China Tests Waters on Kashmir Issue in UNSC
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi.

New Delhi: Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi is set to come to India on December 21 for boundary talks, although neither sides have made an official announcement of the visit yet. Wang, Chinese Special Representative for boundary talks, will be meeting National Security Advisor Ajit Doval at a venue that is yet to be decided.

However, just days ahead of this crucial visit, China tried "testing the waters" on the Kashmir issue at the UNSC, as per a source. Another source confirmed that some discussions in New York had a closed consultation on Kashmir, similar to what happened on August 16, but it didn't go through.

Chinese Ambassador to India, Sun Weidong, refrained from answering queries on the issue, saying he hasn't learnt anything yet from Beijing. He added that China's stand on the issue is known.

Though China had been making references to Kashmir being settled as per UN charter and UN resolutions, it toned down its statement ahead of President Xi Jinping's visit to India, stressing on the need for dialogue between India and Pakistan to settle the issue, indicating that it’s a bilateral issue. After the meeting in Mamallapuram, Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale had said that issue of Kashmir was not raised or discussed during the second informal meeting.

The timing of the move was significant as it came just days ahead of Wang Yi's India's visit for 22nd round of boundary talks that were pushed back to after the informal summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Mamallapuram.

Some P5 countries were of the view that the August 16 discussion settled the fact that issue needs to be discussed bilaterally between India and Pakistan. French diplomatic sources said Kashmir will not be discussed in the Security council on December 18. Our position has been very clear: Kashmir issue has to be treated bilaterally. We have highlighted this several times recently, including in New York.

But another P5 country source, on being asked why possibly China wants Kashmir discussed again, said that on August 16 the matter was very fresh. Four months down the line, with several restrictions still in place, Beijing is probably looking at reviving the issue for discussion with more questions.

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