Jinping-Modi Summit : Kashmir off the table
Sources in the know reveal the recent reorganisation of Jammu & Kashmir will not be up for discussion in India’s second informal summit with China scheduled to begin on Friday. New Delhi counts the summit as an overarching road map to take forward bilateral ties. The Capital has been very outspoken about foreign mediation in what it calls a bilateral issue with Pakistan.
At its end, Chinese President Xi Jinping recently said during a meeting with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan in Beijing, that China is closely following the situation in Kashmir and would support Pakistan on issues related to its core interest.
The informal summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping would be held at the seaside resort of Mamallapuram in Tamil Nadu during October 11-12. The meeting came after weeks of speculation against the backdrop of irritants in India-China ties, including Beijing’s criticism of the reorganisation of Jammu & Kashmir. Possibilities of the meet were slightly marred by China’s concerns over a military exercise underway in Arunachal Pradesh, and remarks by the Chinese envoy to Islamabad that appeared to back Pakistan’s position on Kashmir.
The bilateral summit aims to build on the rapport between Modi and Jinping, created during first such meet in Wuhan last year to put ties on an even keel after the military stand-off at Doklam in 2017. The External Affairs Ministry has revealed a statement, saying the summit will provide both leaders an opportunity to continue discussions “on overarching issues of bilateral, regional, and global importance and to exchange views on deepening India-China Closer Development Partnership.”
Indian officials said the scrapping of Article 370 of the Indian Constitution and the region reorganisation into two Union territories is a sovereign and internal matter and will not be discussed at the summit. They said even if the matter is raised by the Chinese President, the Indian side will outline its official position. An anonymous source said, “The issue of having a discussion on this matter with anybody doesn’t arise.. There is no scope for a third country to discuss or mediate there.”
The much-awaited summit is reportedly all about building contacts at the highest level, and exchanging views on strategic issues to create a broad pathway for taking forward bilateral ties. There will be no signing of agreements or a joint communiqué, instead, both leaders are only expected to discuss additional confidence-building measures for peace and tranquility on the border.
Modi will raise the need to comprehensively tackle terrorism, including the training, financing and support for terror groups.