India on Wednesday asked China to keep out of its internal affairs, after Beijing claimed that New Delhi’s unilateral changes to the status of Jammu and Kashmir were “illegal and invalid”, the Hindustan Times reported. Beijing had also asked New Delhi and Islamabad to resolve the Kashmir dispute through dialogue.
“Chinese side has no locus standi on this matter,” India’s Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said on Wednesday according to The Indian Express. “China is advised not to comment on internal affairs of other nations.”
Beijing’s remarks came on the first anniversary of the abrogation of special status of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Indian Constitution.
“China follows closely the situation in the Kashmir region,” the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Wang Wenbin said at a press conference on Wednesday, in response to a question on the impact of India’s decision to strip Kashmir of its autonomy a year ago. “China’s position on the Kashmir issue is clear and consistent. Any unilateral change to the status quo is illegal and invalid. This issue should be properly resolved peacefully through dialogue and consultations between the parties concerned.”
China added that peaceful coexistence would be in the best interest of both India and Pakistan. “Pakistan and India are neighbours that cannot be moved away,” Wang said.
China had in October last year criticised India’s decision to bifurcate the state into Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh as “illegal and invalid”. China had said that India’s unilateral move challenged its sovereignty. India and China both claim sovereignty over the disputed Aksai Chin region, which Beijing controls. India, on the other hand, had sternly asked China to not interfere in its internal matters.
The tensions between India and China have heightened after the Galwan Valley clash. Twenty Indian soldiers and an unknown number of Chinese troops were killed in a violent face-off along the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh in June. Since then, four round of talks have been held between the commanders of the two armies to work out details of disengagement from the stand-off areas. India maintains that China has not disengaged from the disputed areas despite the talks.