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China-India tensions escalates over Jammu and Kashmir bifurcation

China foreign ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang

New Delhi, Oct 31 Both China and India indulged into a verbal attack after New Delhi officially bifurcated Jammu and Kashmir into Union territories and accused Islamabad and Beijing of illegally occupying region of Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK) under the so-called China-Pakistan Boundary Agreement of 1963.

China has said India’s big move to bifurcate Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories is “unlawful and void” and it affects Beijing’s sovereignty. India has now hit back saying China to refrain from making statements on internal matters of India as Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir are integral parts of the country.

Addressing a media briefing here, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar highlighted that China continues to be in “occupation of a large tract of area in the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh” and has “illegally acquired Indian territories from Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK) under the so-called China-Pakistan Boundary Agreement of 1963”.

Indian government officially announced the establishment of so-called Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh Union Territories which included some of China’s territory into its administrative jurisdiction,” China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told the media in Beijing on Thursday.

“China deplores and firmly opposes that. India unilaterally changed its domestic laws and administrative division challenging China’s sovereignty,” Shuang said.

Geng was referring to the territory of Aksai Chin, which China controls but New Delhi claims as part of the new UT of Ladakh.

“We expect other countries to respect India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity”.India’s concern on the projects in “so-called China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) which is in the territory that has been illegally occupied by Pakistan since 1947”, said MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar in a reference to the parts of Jammu and Kashmir under Pakistani occupation.

He reiterated India’s concern on the projects in “so-called China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) which is in the territory that has been illegally occupied by Pakistan since 1947”, in a reference to the parts of Jammu and Kashmir under Pakistani occupation.

“We have seen the statement made by the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China on the establishment of the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. China is well aware of India’s consistent and clear position on this issue.

“The matter of reorganization of the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir into the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh is entirely an internal affair of India. We do not expect other countries, including China, to comment on the matters which are internal to India, just as India refrains from commenting on internal issues of other countries,” the spokersperson said.

Asserting that the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh are integral part of India, Kumar said: “We expect other countries to respect India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity”.

Referring to the boundary question between India and China, he noted that the two countries have agreed to seek a fair, reasonable and mutually-accepted solution to the issue through peaceful consultations on the basis of the political parameters and guiding principles that were agreed in 2005.

“This was reiterated also in the 2nd India-China Informal Summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping in Chennai earlier this month. In the interim, the two sides have also agreed to maintain peace and tranquility in the border area,” Kumar added.

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