“Differences should not become disputes”: India to China amid J&K move

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International desk, August 12: Foreign Minister S Jaishankar today sent out a subtle message to China, which underscored its disapproval of the government’s Kashmir move, especially the creation of a separate Union Territory of Ladakh.

At a meeting with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in Beijing, Mr Jaishankar said, “The two nations should ensure that it was important that differences between us, if any, should not become disputes”.

However, China had expressed its opposition to India’s move to create a separate Union Territory of Ladakh.

India-China relationship, Mr Jaishankar was quoted as saying by news agency ANI, has a “unique place” in global politics. “Two years ago, our leaders recognised that reality and reached a consensus in Astana that at a time of global uncertainty India-China relationship should be a factor of stability,” theb agency quoted him as saying, NDTV reports.

At today’s meeting, China’s foreign ministry said it said it showed a “principled” stand on “unilateral” actions taken by India on Kashmir, reported news agency Reuters.

China’s Foreign Affairs minister Wang Yi said he hoped India would play a constructive role in regional peace and stability, the foreign ministry said in a notice on its website following the meeting.

Last week, after the government’s move to end the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcate it into the union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, China voiced its “serious concern”.

Beijing asked India and Pakistan to exercise restraint, and said the two nations should avoid actions that “unilaterally” change the status quo and “exacerbate tensions”.

China also expressed its opposition to India’s move to create a separate Union Territory of Ladakh.

India said the decisions on Kashmir were “an internal matter concerning the territory of India”.

“India does not comment on the internal affairs of other countries and similarly expects other countries to do likewise,” the foreign ministry said.

Pointing to Mr Jaishankar’s tenure as India’s ambassador to China, Chinese Foreign Affairs Minister Wang Yi said for many years, he has made “positive and active contribution to China-India relations”.

Mr Jaishankar, a seasoned diplomat who succeeded Sushma Swaraj in the second term of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government, served as India’s Ambassador to the US and before that, to China.