Kashmir a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan, no plans to mediate: China

Mohammed Uzair Shaikh
"China's position on the issue of Kashmir is clear and consistent. It is an issue left over from history between India and Pakistan, and shall be properly addressed by India and Pakistan through consultation and negotiation."

Beijing, May 4: A day after an article in the state-run Global Times said China has “vested interests” to intervene in the Kashmir conflict, Beijing issued an official clarification. Reiterating its earlier stand, China said that Kashmir remains a bilateral issue which needs to be resolved only between India and Pakistan.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang, while addressing the controversy, said, “China’s role remains only to play a constructive role in improving the bilateral relations between India and Pakistan.”

“China’s position on the issue of Kashmir is clear and consistent. It is an issue left over from history between India and Pakistan, and shall be properly addressed by India and Pakistan through consultation and negotiation,” he was quoted as saying by PTI.

An article in the Global Times, on Tuesday, claimed that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project would compel Beijing to intervene in Kashmir issue, in order to prevent ties between India and Pakistan to escalate. The article opined that CPEC, which passes through disputed areas of Kashmir (PoK), has attracted an investment of USD 50 million. With growing turbulence in the region, the investors’ confidence could be deterred, the article commented.

China cannot turn a “deaf ear” to protect heavy investments by its firms in the CPEC, the article further added, claiming that Beijing would soon shift away from its official policy of nonintervention in internal affairs in the region.

“Given the massive investment that China has made in countries along the One Belt, One Road, China now has a vested interest in helping resolve regional conflicts including the dispute over Kashmir between India and Pakistan,” the article had said.

The claims made in Global Times came in the backdrop of India registering its apprehensions over the CPEC passing through PoK. As a mark of dissent, India has so far refrained to announce its official delegation for the Belt and Road Initiating summit being organised by China on May 14-15.

Top Chinese scholar Zhang Yunling has suggested the communist regime to take India’s concerns into account. “Any transnational projects involve concerns of different countries, We need to coordinate that to strike a balance to be acceptable to all parties,” said Yunling, who is a member of the state-run Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.