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Modi-Xi Summit: J&K “may not be a major topic”, says China

Modi-Xi Summit: J&K “may not be a major topic”, says China


*Modi-Xi Summit at Chennai in October

*J&K issue unlikely to figure

New Delhi: In a fresh setback to Pakistan, Beijing said on Tuesday that the issue of Jammu and Kashmir “may not be a major topic” during the proposed Second Summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping, scheduled next month in India.

The Modi-Xi informal Summit is expected to take place between October 10 and 12 near Chennai during the Chinese President’s visit.

The two leaders’ meeting comes a couple of weeks after Modi will share stage with US President Donald Trump in Houston during a mega-show, on September 22.

On Tuesday, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said in Beijing that the border issues between India and China and matters related to more “strategic thinking” could be part of the two leaders’ talks.

During interaction with the media at China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, she said that the two leaders could discuss the issues they deem important. “I think that issues like Kashmir may not be a major topic during the talks.”

Last week, in an apparent bid to cool down temperatures ahead of the Modi-Xi meeting, a face-off between Chinese and Indian armies in Ladakh was diffused after senior officers on both sides discussed it.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Ahmedabad in 2014.

China is the only major country to have so far “supported” Pakistan, which has been unsuccessfully trying to internationalize the J&K issue since August 5 when India revoked the “special status” of the border state by abrogating the Article 370 of the Indian Constitution.

In its first reaction to the J&K issue last month, while China had “expressed concern” over the changed situation in Ladakh, it also advised India and Pakistan to settle the bilateral issues amicably through talks.

Later, when Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan and Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi rushed to Beijing to enlist its support, China tried to mollify Islamabad by “supporting” it during the informal talks between members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).

Amid ongoing disturbances in the restive Balochistan and other parts of Pakistan, including the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), China is concerned about its huge investments, to the tune of more than $60 billion, on the ongoing mega-projects under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) that passes through Balochistan up to Gwadar port on the coast of the Arabian Sea.

Already, violence in Balochistan has claimed a few Chinese lives.


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