China fiercely reacts to India’s IHK move

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s plan to change the status of Indian-held Kashmir ran into fierce opposition from China on Tuesday, as the disputed territory lay under a telecoms blackout to forestall protests for a second day.
In a move to tighten its grip on occupied Jammu and Kashmir, India dropped a constitutional provision that allowed the disputed territory to make its own laws.
The changes imposed by Modi’s Hindu nationalist-led government are the most sweeping in the nearly 30 years that India has been battling a freedom struggle in occupied Kashmir.
The BJP government also broke up the state into two federally administered territories. China said it opposed India’s decision to revoke Kashmir’s special status and that New Delhi needed to be cautious on border issues. “India’s action is unacceptable and would not have any legal effect,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said in a statement.
China urged India to strictly abide by the agreements reached by both the countries in order to avoid any actions that would further complicate boundary issues, Hua said. India and China have a longstanding dispute over the border, including in Ladakh, the high altitude area.
Hua said China opposed India’s decision to revoke the special status of occupied Kashmir, because it undermined the country’s territorial sovereignty. The Chinese statement was the most critical of the impact of India’s actions on the mainly Buddhist region of Ladakh – an area of strategic importance nestled between Tibet and Pakistan.
Just two years after India and China’s decades-long dispute flared up over a remote area of the Himalayas, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s surprise move on Kashmir has inflamed tensions yet again.
Beijing has always opposed India’s inclusion of Chinese territory in the western section of the China-India border, Hua said. “China is seriously concerned about the current situation in [occupied] Kashmir,” Hua said.
“We call on India and Pakistan to peacefully resolve relevant disputes through dialogue,” she said, noting China had urged India to “avoid any move that further complicates the border issue”.
India, meanwhile, told China that the government’s move was an “internal matter”.
The Indian government said Ladakh’s new designation as a “union territory” was “an internal matter concerning the territory of India”.
“India does not comment on the internal affairs of other countries and similarly expects other countries to do likewise,” Indian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said.
He added that both sides had committed to maintaining “peace and tranquility in the border areas”.
Meanwhile, Washington urged respect for rights and called for the maintenance of peace along the Line of Control (LoC) after India revoked the special status of occupied Kashmir.
New Delhi’s action sparked fears of further violence in the occupied territory.
“We are concerned about reports of detentions and urge respect for individual rights and discussion with those in affected communities,” State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said in a statement.
Just ahead of the Indian announcement, senior former and current Kashmiri political leaders said that they had been put under house arrest.
“We call on all parties to maintain peace and stability along the Line of Control,” Ortagus said.
Ortagus said the US is “closely following” events in Jammu and Kashmir state, but noted that India had described its actions as “strictly an internal matter”.–DT

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