Stop work in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, says India after being urged to back ‘One China’
China has urged India to support the “One-China policy”, something that India has not done in official documents since 2010, a development that has come following the improvement in bilateral ties. The one-China policy acknowledges only the People’s Republic of China and does not recognise the existence of Taiwan or Republic of China.
India has in turn communicated that it wants China to refrain from projects in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) that violate India’s sovereignty, according to people aware of the matter. They said China has not made any move so far to address India’s concerns over the CPEC, which remains the key reason for India to oppose China’s Belt and Road Initiative.
Ahead of the second meeting of PM Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping on June 9, China has told India that a reiteration of one-China policy by India would significantly help enhance mutual trust between the two countries. The issue is understood to have figured in external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj’s discussion with her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi on the sidelines of the BRICS meet in South Africa earlier this week.
The first India-China joint statement without India reaffirming one-China policy was issued after the then PM Manmohan Singh hosted the then Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao in December 2010. India declined to reaffirm the one-China policy in the joint statement in retaliation to China’s policy of issuing “stapled visas”, instead of regular visas in Indian passports, to J&K residents seeking to travel to China.
India continued with this practice even after Modi became PM in 2014. By then, China had drawn up a plan to build an economic corridor linking Kashgar in Xinxiang Province in northwestern China and a deep sea port at Gwadar in Balochistan in south-western Pakistan.
Like most other nations, India does not have formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan but has trade and cultural ties with Taiwan including a representative office there. In 2017, India hosted a delegation of parliamentarians from Taiwan, prompting a strong reaction from China, whose state media warned India against “playing with fire”. A year earlier, a parliamentary delegation from India had visited Taiwan.
India is of the opinion that China, through its projects and stapled visas, has been challenging the fact that the entire state of J&K is an integral part of India and supporting its all-weather friend Pakistan’s claim over Kashmir.