Ahead of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s important visit to India, Beijing has moderated its stand on Kashmir and said that the issue should be resolved bilaterally between Islamabad and New Delhi. The statement holds significance as it has been made at a time when Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan is in China for talks with Jinping.
"China's position on the Kashmir issue is clear and consistent. We call on India and Pakistan to engage in dialogue and consultation on all issues including Kashmir issue and consolidate mutual trust. This is in line with the interest of both countries and common aspiration of the world," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said when asked comment on whether the Kashmir issue would figure during talks Imran Khan.
China's comments marked a significant shift on what China has been saying on Kashmir in recent weeks.
Meanwhile, China has yet not made any official announcement about Xi’s visit to India for the informal summit with PM Modi in the seaside town of Mahabalipuram, in Tamil Nadu. However, the state has been begun preparations to host the two leaders.
However, Chinese officials informally said an announcement would be made simultaneously in Beijing and New Delhi on Wednesday.
“India and China have a tradition of high-level exchanges. Both sides have communication exchange over high-level Visit. Any new information will be released soon,” Geng said in response to questions on Xi’s visit to India.
“Since the Wuhan informal summit (last year), our bilateral relations have gathered good momentum,” he said and that both India and China are major developing countries of the world and major emerging markets.
“We have been advancing our cooperation and properly managing our differences. We have a tradition of high-level exchange and our two sides are maintaining communication on high-level exchange in the next phase. We should make a good atmosphere and environment for this,” he said.