China, Pakistan rake up Kashmir issue again after Imran-Xi meet
China and Pakistan on Sunday again brought up the Kashmir issue following a meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan in Beijing. In a joint statement, China "reiterated" that the Kashmir issue was a dispute left from history and called for a "peaceful resolution." It also said it opposes any "unilateral actions" that complicate the Kashmir issue.
- The Xi-Imran meeting took place on the sidelines of Khan's Beijing visit for the Winter Olympics, an event diplomatically boycotted by India and many western countries.
- Notably, this is not the first time that China and Pakistan referred to the issue of Kashmir in their joint statement.
- India, in past, has dismissed such references as interference in its internal matters.
As per the joint statement, Khan "briefed the Chinese side on the latest developments on the situation in Jammu & Kashmir, including its concerns, position and pressing issues at the moment." China repeated its official stance that the issue "should be properly and peacefully resolved based on the UN Charter, relevant Security Council resolutions and bilateral agreements."
The statement further added, "both sides reiterated their support on issues concerning each other's core interests." They also "underscored that stronger defense and security cooperation between Pakistan and China was an important factor of peace and stability in the region."
The joint statement "reiterated" that "a peaceful and prosperous South Asia is in the common interest of all parties." "They emphasized the importance of the pursuit of dialogue and resolution of all outstanding disputes to promote regional cooperation and advance the goals of lasting peace, stability, and shared prosperity in the region," it added.
According to the statement, President Xi said China would continue supporting the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). This comes as both the countries on Friday signed an agreement to boost industrial cooperation as part of the second phase of CPEC. The two sides were "ready to discuss with Afghanistan the extension of CPEC to Afghanistan," the statement added.
Both China and Pakistan are fully aware of India's position on the CPEC that it is located on Indian territory illegally occupied by Pakistan, the government sources told the Times of India. India also rejects any attempts to change the status quo in that area.