The Supreme Court verdict upholding the Centre’s decision to abrogate Article 370 does not change Beijing’s stand on Ladakh, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson said on Wednesday.

“China has never recognised the so-called Union Territory of Ladakh set up unilaterally and illegally by India,” the Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said. “India’s domestic judicial verdict does not change the fact that the western section of the China-India border has always belonged to China.”

On Monday, a Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud upheld the Centre’s decision to revoke Jammu and Kashmir’s special status under Article 370 of the Constitution. The Bharatiya Janata Party-led government also split the erstwhile state into two Union territories of Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir.

Following the order, Mao on Tuesday said that the “Kashmir issue, left from the past, needs to be resolved peacefully and appropriately in accordance with the UN Charter, Security Council resolutions and relevant bilateral agreement”.

In 2019, when Article 370 was revoked, China had said that the move was “illegal” and urged India to resolve the dispute with Pakistan through dialogue.

Indo-China border dispute

Border tensions between India and China have increased since June 2020 when a major face-off between Indian and Chinese soldiers took place in Galwan Valley of Ladakh. The clashes, which took place at multiple locations along the Line of Actual Control, had led to the deaths of 20 Indian soldiers. Beijing had said that the clash left four of its soldiers dead.

Tensions had flared at multiple friction points, with both countries stationing tens of thousands of troops backed by artillery, tanks and fighter jets. Since the Galwan clashes, China and India have held several rounds of military and diplomatic talks to resolve the border standoff.

According to a report by the US Department of Defense, China continued to develop large-scale military infrastructure, including an airport, along the Line of Actual Control in 2022 despite holding talks with India on resolving border disagreements.

Also read: How the Supreme Court upheld Modi government’s Article 370 abrogation