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China seeks to internationalise boundary question with India via UN

NEW DELHI: China’s attempt to list Indo-Pak issue including Kashmir on the agenda on the UN Security Council for the second time since August was not just an effort to appease its all-weather ally Pakistan but also an effort to bring disputed boundary along Ladakh (now an Union Territory) on the international stage.

This week’s attempt was designed in a such a manner that India could come under pressure ahead of Special Representative talks on boundary scheduled in Delhi on Saturday. ET has reliably learnt that the Chinese policy is to embarrass India globally in the aftermath of decision to scrap Article 370 and bifurcation of state and extract concessions from the Modi government in the process.

The tactic is akin to one adopted by China at Doklam in 2017 but India’s strong response forced Beijing to retract, recalled an expert familiar with the Sino-Indian affairs.

The Chinese sought to bring proposal in the closed-door session to bring pressure on the next edition of SR talks and the whole point was to call for a discussion in the aftermath of the J & K maps released by the Indian government after bifurcation of the state, a source quipped. There are apprehensions that Beijing will yet again attempt to bring Indo-Pak agenda including Kashmir issue at the UN Security Council next year.

India repeated assertions including at the level of Foreign Minister that change of Ladakh’s status into Union Territory will not impact Line of Actual Control did not appear to cut ice with Beijing, quipped a person familiar with the matter.

“To bring Kashmir on the agenda of a closed-door session in UNSC when the Security Council is scheduled to go on recess for the holidays and three days before Wang Yi’s visit to India on 21 Dec for the SR talks on the border does not make sense if Beijing did not want to pressurise India on the boundary issue,” explained a person familiar with the developments.

This was the Chinese attempt to rattle India by claiming that there is the Indo-Pakistan agenda and India-China border issue agenda in the Security Council, felt another person familiar with the matter.

The December 21 SR level talks is the first edition of the dialogue since re-election of the Modi government. The Mamallapuram informal summit had decided to give impetus to SR level talks to enable launch of clarification of Line of Actual Control, de facto boundary between the neighbours.

This was the second time that China sought to discuss Kashmir at the closed-door session of the UNSC. In August at the closed door informal session at the UN Security Council China not only batted for Pakistan on the Kashmir issue but also raked up the issue of status of Aksai Chin, a territory which Beijing illegally occupies in Ladakh.

The Chinese Permanent Representative in UN during that closed-door session had claimed that Modi government’s decision to abrogate Article 370 has challenged China’s sovereign interests & violated bilateral agreements on maintaining peace and stability in the border area, ET had earlier reported.

Source: Economic Times