Source: Global Times Published: 2019-10-31
Chinese officials and experts on Thursday slammed India's unilateral move to change the China-India border status by formally establishing two new union territories in the Kashmir region, saying that the move challenges China's sovereignty and warning that India's decision risked border frictions despite bilateral ties developing on a progressive track.
China voiced strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition to the Indian government's announcement on Thursday of implementation of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, which designated two so-called new "Union Territories" - Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh - under the direct rule of its central government after a proposal to its parliament to revoke the "special status" of India-controlled Kashmir, and split it into two Union territories on August 5.
"Jammu and Kashmir" is a disputed territory with Pakistan, while "Ladakh" is disputed with China and includes Chinese territories in its administrative division.
The eastern end of the so-called "union territory of Ladakh" is made up of China's Aksai Chin plains. China defeated India in a border military conflict in 1962 and successfully safeguarded Aksai Chin, which remains under Chinese control.
India's unilateral move challenges China's sovereignty by revising India's domestic law and administrative division, which is illegal and invalid, Geng Shuang, spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said at press conference on Thursday. "It will not change China's control of the region," Geng said.
Lin Minwang, a professor at Fudan University's Center for South Asian Studies in Shanghai, told the Global Times Thursday that such a decision showed that India wants to add its military presence and control in the border regions and China's stance and its actual control over Aksai Chin region have never changed. "Border frictions between the two could increase in the future," Lin said.
Geng urged the Indian side to respect China's territorial integrity and sovereignty, abide by related agreements between the two countries and take concrete action to maintain peace and stability of the border areas so as to create good conditions for both countries to properly solve the border issues.
China's stance on the Kashmir issue is clear and consistent: The region is a dispute left over from colonial history and should be properly and peacefully resolved based on the UN Charter, relevant UN Security Council resolutions and bilateral agreements, Geng said.
Relevant parties should settle disputes through dialogue and negotiation to maintain regional stability, he noted.
Although the two countries' leaders met earlier this month and bilateral ties are developing, sovereignty disputes won't disappear immediately as India holds a tough and stubborn stance, Lin said.
Instability in the region will persist if India increases its activities and provokes China's sovereignty again, Lin warned.
Lin Minwang is a visiting fellow of Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China.