NEW DELHI, India on Thursday asked China to respect its sovereignty and territorial integrity shortly after the Chinese government objected to the bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories, terming India’s move as null and void. In a press statement, spokesman of the Indian Ministry of External Affairs Raveesh Kumar said: “We expect other countries to respect India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.” “China continues to be in occupation of a large tract of area in the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh,” he said, urging China to stop meddling in India’s internal affairs.
In a sharply worded statement, Kumar said: “It (China) has illegally acquired Indian territories from Pakistan Occupied Kashmir under so called China-Pakistan boundary agreement of 1963.” “We do not expect other countries, including China, to comment on the matters which are internal to India just as India refrains from commenting on internal issues of other countries. The Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh are integral part of India,” he stressed. The Indian reaction came following Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang’s statement critical of Indian move to bifurcate Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories, namely Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh. “The Indian government officially announced the establishment of so-called Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh Union Territories which included some of China’s territory into its administrative jurisdiction. “China deplores and firmly opposes that. India unilaterally changed its domestic laws and administrative division challenging China’s sovereignty,” Geng Shuang told reporters today. Earlier this month, Chinese President Xi Jinping had visited India and agreed to enhance cooperation at the bilateral regional and global levels after holding extensive talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Both the sides did not touch upon the Kashmir issue. However, during an earlier visit to China, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chinese leaders insisted that the Kashmir dispute should be properly and peacefully resolved on the basis of the UN Charter, relevant Security Council resolutions and bilateral agreements.
Source: Kuwait News Agency