The Chinese foreign ministry on Tuesday said that Kashmir may not be “major topic” of discussion during the upcoming informal summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping in India next month, PTI reported. The leaders are expected to focus more on broader picture of relationship between the countries and “strategic thinking”, the ministry said.

“As for [whether] Kashmir will be on the agenda, I’m not sure because this is kind of informal summit and leaders’ meeting. I think [it would be] better to give the leaders time to discuss whatever they would like to discuss,” Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying said. “I think for those things like Kashmir, I don’t think it will be a major topic occupying the talks, that is my understanding. But of course, you know, the leaders are free to talk about whatever they like.”

She did not confirm the dates or the venue for the second round of the informal summit. The first was held in the central Chinese city of Wuhan last year. “I’m not in a position to announce the details yet,” Chunying said. “But I think you will know, very soon. But we are looking forward to the visit. Both China and India are both great countries.”

The spokesperson added that China wanted both India and Pakistan to be on peaceful terms with each other. Tensions between India and Pakistan have ratcheted up since New Delhi revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s special status on August 5. Pakistan, which has fought three wars with India for Kashmir since Independence, did not take the decision well.

Last week, Beijing had said it was following the situation in Jammu and Kashmir closely and opposed any unilateral actions that would complicate matters. It also called for the conflict in Kashmir to be resolved peacefully on the basis of United Nations Charter, relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions and bilateral agreements.

China, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council and an ally of Pakistan, had sought the “closed-door” meeting to discuss the developments in Jammu and Kashmir on August 16. The meeting had ended without any outcome or statement from the council.

India-China border

On the border question between India and China, the spokesperson said: “China always keeps its words, we always kept our words, and we never intended to do anything that could harm the mutual trust between China and India. And we hope to see the same good willingness from the Indian side.”

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

“Both sides can work together to safeguard, to maintain, to make sure the border and border areas be kept in peace and stability, so that we can increase the mutual trust and stay focused on those kind of things, such as even broaden our cooperation,” the spokesperson added.

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