The Ministry of External Affairs on Tuesday said the decision to bifurcate Ladakh as Union territory was an internal matter after China opposed the inclusion and claimed that it was a Chinese territory.

“The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Bill 2019, introduced by the Government in Parliament on 5 August, which proposes the formation of a new “Union Territory of Ladakh” is an internal matter concerning the territory of India,” MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said. “India does not comment on the internal affairs of other countries and similarly expects other countries to do likewise.”

“So far as the India-China Boundary Question is concerned, the two sides have agreed to a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable settlement of the boundary question on the basis of the Political Parameters and Guiding Principles for the Settlement of India-China Boundary Question,” Kumar added. He said both the countries have agreed to maintain peace in the border areas on the basis of the relevant agreements.

The Rajya Sabha on Monday adopted the resolution on Article 370 of the Constitution be revoked. The Upper House of Parliament also passed a bill to split the state into two Union territories – one, Jammu and Kashmir, which will have a legislature, and the other, Ladakh, without one. The Lok Sabha passed it on Tuesday.

“China is always opposed to India’s inclusion of the Chinese territory in the western sector of the China-India boundary into its administrative jurisdiction,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said on Tuesday. She said China’s position on Ladakh remains firm and consistent.

“Recently India has continued to undermine China’s territorial sovereignty by unilaterally changing its domestic law,” the ministry added. “Such practice is unacceptable and will not come into force.”

The spokesperson urged India to be cautious in its words and deeds on border matters. She asked India to abide by the relevant agreements concluded between them and to avoid taking any move that may further complicate the boundary question.

In another press release, China said it was seriously concerned about the current situation in Jammu and Kashmir. “China’s position on the Kashmir issue is clear and consistent,” it read. “It is also an international consensus that the Kashmir issue is an issue left from the past between India and Pakistan.”

It asked both India and Pakistan to exercise restraint and act prudently. “In particular, they should refrain from taking actions that will unilaterally change the status quo and escalate tensions,” the Chinese ministry said. “We call on both India and Pakistan to peacefully resolve the relevant disputes through dialogue and consultation and safeguard peace and stability in the region.”

India and China have 3,488-km long Line of Actual Control between them. The two countries have so far held 21 rounds of Special Representatives talks to resolve the boundary dispute.