China, India vow to work on border issues as violence erupts in Kashmir

Keegan Elmer

Beijing and New Delhi pledged to work on their border issues and maintain regional stability, as violence erupted between India and Pakistan in the long-disputed Kashmir region.

After talks in New Delhi on Saturday, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said managing the border regions was an important part of the meeting and the two sides had reached a consensus on strengthening cooperation and trust, according to a statement from China’s foreign ministry.

Wang said Beijing had “put forward a practical framework for solving the border issues”, without elaborating.

The Indian side, led by national security adviser Ajit Doval, said the two countries should respect each other’s “sensitivities”, according to a statement from India’s Ministry of External Affairs.

It said the two sides “resolved to intensify their efforts to achieve a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable solution to the India-China boundary question”.

They also discussed bilateral, regional and global issues, the statement said.

The talks took place against the backdrop of years of border conflict, and Chinese protests over India’s move to change the status of the contested region of Kashmir, along China’s border.

India and Pakistan exchanged gunfire and shelling from Friday through Saturday along the Line of Control between the newly formed union territory of Jammu and Kashmir, and Pakistan.

Indian media reported at least two Pakistani military personnel were killed in exchanges in Neelum Valley on Saturday, though a spokesperson for Pakistan’s armed forces said on Twitter that no major exchange of fire took place in the area.

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday said the threat from India to Pakistan was increasing, in remarks made on Twitter.

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China, along with close ally Pakistan, protested over India revoking the special administrative status of Jammu and Kashmir in October, removing special governing rights and reorganising the region into two new union territories – Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.

Following the decision, foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said China “deplores and firmly opposes” India’s move to establish the “so-called Jammu Kashmir territory and Ladakh Union territory, which included some of China’s territory into its administrative jurisdiction”.

The region of Kashmir has been a point of border conflict between China, India and Pakistan since the partition of 1947.

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