After China’s refrain and many others, the G20 tourism conference in occupied Kashmir has lost its global writ as well as worth. India tried to play big but the gambit has backfired. China’s resolute boycott of the G20 tourism conference in Indian Illegally Occupied Kashmir (IIOK) from May 22-24 is a powerful demonstration of its unwavering commitment to its principled foreign policy. Beijing’s opposition to conducting G20 meetings in disputed territories exemplifies its unflinching dedication to non-interference and respect for national sovereignty.
It conveys a clear message that it will not support efforts to undermine the territorial integrity of nations. This position is consistent with China’s foreign policy of defending its own sovereignty while respecting the sovereignty of others. At a news briefing in Beijing, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said China will not attend a G20 tourism meeting next week in disputed Jammu and Kashmir. “China is firmly opposed to holding any kind of G20 meetings in disputed territory and will not attend,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin stated. The Chinese move was in response to India’s illegal annexation of IIOJK, a Muslim-majority state, to create Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh on August 5, 2019.
Since a 2020 military skirmish in Ladakh killed 24 soldiers, New Delhi-Beijing relations have deteriorated. Srinagar, IIOJK’s summer capital, will host the G20 tourism working group on May 22-24. Pakistan has already opposed India’s G20 meeting in occupied Kashmir. China prioritizes regional stability and avoids entanglements in complex disputes by maintaining neutrality in the Kashmir conflict. This principled approach not only guarantees the welfare of China’s own people but also positions China as a responsible global power that upholds international norms and promotes peaceful territorial dispute resolutions. China’s decision to hold back from the G20 summit in Kashmir stems from its unwavering dedication to safeguarding its national defense interests. Given Kashmir’s proximity to China’s western border and its strategic location, China must maintain a vigilant posture. China demonstrates its resolve to protect its security and preserve regional stability by vigorously opposing events in disputed territories. This resolute defense policy reinforces China’s position as a staunch defender of its national interests and deters potential threats. China’s support for Pakistan’s condemnation of India’s actions in IIOK is indicative of the strong and enduring affinity between the two countries. This enduring friendship is based on shared values, historical connections, and common interests. The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) are two prominent examples of how China’s strategic partnership with Pakistan has been consistently strengthened through various initiatives.
China’s support for Pakistan’s position on IIOK reflects its understanding of the region’s intricate dynamics. China not only manifests solidarity by supporting Pakistan’s condemnation of India’s actions but also protects its own strategic interests. Due to its contested status and its potential impact on regional stability, Kashmir is of tremendous geopolitical importance. China’s support for Pakistan balances the influence of other key regional powers in the region. China has a strong desire to protect its national interests and sovereignty, which is evident in its assertive power projection on the international scene. China has vehemently refuted claims of economic coercion in reaction to the antagonistic agenda during the recently held G7 summit in Japan as China pushed for an open and inclusive strategy. China has exposed the G7’s widespread hypocrisy and double standards, exposing the errors in their rhetoric against China. The G7’s internal conflicts lessen its power and restrict its capacity to coalesce in opposition to China. China refuses to be intimidated or bullied into relinquishing its sovereignty, remaining steadfast in the face of global demands. China seeks to progress its development, safeguard its national interests, and contribute to world peace and prosperity through strategic diplomacy. It resists attempts to malign China and emphasizes that the world faces more risks from a small number of nations that unfairly identify China rather than from that country itself. China seeks to protect its sovereignty, advance its national development objectives, and benefit the international community by adhering to a steady and strategic course. The forthcoming G20 Tourism Working Group meeting in Srinagar, scheduled for May 22-24, is the first event to be held in IIOK after its special status was repealed in 2019, causing its split into two union territories.
Around 60 delegates from G20 countries are expected to attend the meeting in Srinagar. Earlier, it was anticipated that over 100 representatives would take part in the conference. Turkey reportedly avoided the meeting, and Saudi Arabia has not enlisted for the event. Other member nations of the group like Russia, France, Germany, Italy, the US, the UK, Japan, South Korea and the European Union among others have signed up for the three-day event. India, which holds the chair of G20 this year, has organised a series of meetings across the country in the run-up to the summit in New Delhi in September.
(Courtesy The Nation, Pakistan)