China voices opposition to India’s reported plans to hold G20 meeting in J&K

China on Thursday voiced its opposition to India’s reported plans to hold the next year’s meeting of G-20 leaders in Jammu and Kashmir, echoing close ally Pakistan’s objection, and underlined that relevant sides should avoid “politicising” the issue.

“We have noted relevant information,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian told a media briefing here on Thursday while replying to a question from the official media. “China’s position on Kashmir is consistent and clear cut. It is a legacy issue between India and Pakistan. It should be properly resolved in accordance with the relevant UN resolutions and bilateral agreements,” Zhao said. He said the “relevant parties should avoid complicating the situation with the unilateral move. We need to address the disputes through dialogue and consultation and jointly uphold peace and stability.” Stating that G-20 is a premier forum for international economic cooperation, Zhao said “we call on relevant sides to focus on economic recovery and avoid politicising the relevant issue so as to make a positive contribution to improving the global economic governance”.

Asked whether China, a member of G-20, would attend the meeting, he said, “whether we attend the meeting, we will look into that.” To another question that China is building the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor in the disputed region in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) and India’s objections over it, Zhao said “the two matters are completely different in nature. China has undertaken projects to help Pakistan to grow its economy and improve livelihoods.”

“Some of those projects are in the Kashmir part that is under the control of Pakistan. Relevant Chinese companies who run the projects do so with the aim of helping the local people to develop the economy and improve their livelihoods,” he said.

“That doesn’t mean our position on Kashmir has changed,” he said.