China on Wednesday hoped that India and Pakistan can "properly" handle their differences through dialogue, improve relations and jointly safeguard peace, stability and development of both the countries and the wider region.
Responding to a question raised by a Pakistani correspondent on the completion of one-year of the revocation of special status to Jammu and Kashmir and its bifurcation into two union territories--Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh--Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said peaceful coexistence between India and Pakistan serves the fundamental interests of both the countries and the international community.
"China closely follows the situation in the Kashmir region. Our position is consistent and clear. This issue is a dispute left over from history between Pakistan and India. That is an objective fact established by UN Charter, Security Council resolutions and bilateral agreements between Pakistan and India," he said.
"Any unilateral change to the status quo is illegal and invalid. This issue should be properly resolved peacefully through dialogue and consultation between the parties concerned," he told a regular foreign ministry briefing here. China last year had called the Indian move as "unacceptable".
"Pakistan and India are neighbours that cannot be moved away. Peaceful coexistence serves the fundamental interests of both and the common aspiration of the international community. China hopes that they can properly handle the differences through dialogue, improve relations and jointly safeguard peace, stability and development of both countries and the wider region," the spokesman added.
The comments by the spokesman came amid the border face-off between India and China in eastern Ladakh.