India hits out at China for calling reorganisation of J&K as 'illegal and invalid'

India on Wednesday slammed China for describing the reorganisation of Jammu and Kashmir in 2019 as ‘illegal and invalid’, and advised Beijing not to comment on the internal affairs of other nations.

In a sharp reaction to China’s comments on the first anniversary of India’s decision on Jammu and Kashmir, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said China has no locus standi on the matter. Earlier, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson said in Beijing that any unilateral change to the status quo of Jammu and Kashmir is illegal and invalid.

“We have noted the comments of the Chinese MFA spokesperson on the Indian Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir. The Chinese side has no locus standi whatsoever on this matter and is advised not to comment on the internal affairs of other nations,” Srivastava said, replying to a question on China’s comments on the issue. On August 5 last year, India announced its decision to withdraw special status of Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcate the state into two union territories.

China has been critical of India’s reorganisation of J&K, and has particularly criticised New Delhi for making Ladakh a union territory. China lays claim over several parts of Ladakh. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said China’s position on the Kashmir issue is “consistent and clear”.

“First, the Kashmir issue is a dispute left over from history between Pakistan and India, which is an objective fact established by the UN Charter, relevant Security Council resolutions and bilateral agreements between Pakistan and India,” he said. “Second, any unilateral change to the status quo in the Kashmir region is illegal and invalid. Third, the Kashmir region issue should be properly and peacefully resolved through dialogue and consultation between the parties concerned,” Wang said.

China has always been siding with its all-weather ally Pakistan on the Kashmir issue. The Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson said peaceful coexistence serves the fundamental interests of both India and Pakistan, and the common aspiration of the international community. Following India’s decision, China had made multiple attempts to raise the Kashmir issue in the UN Security Council. However, these attempts were rejected by other member nations of the global body. “Pakistan and India are neighbours that cannot be moved away. Harmony between the two countries serves the fundamental interests of both sides and the common aspiration of the international community,” Wang said.