China and Pakistan reiterated their opposition to “unilateral actions” in Jammu and Kashmir, with the Chinese foreign minister repeating that the dispute was a vestige of the past and should be resolved as per UN resolutions.
This was mentioned in the joint press release issued after the Chinese and Pakistani foreign ministers co-chaired the fourth round of Strategic Dialogue on Saturday.
Both foreign ministers met in Islamabad a day after they attended the meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation in Goa, India.
The joint statement said that the Pakistani side briefed the Chinese delegation, led by state councillor and foreign minister Qin Gang, on the latest developments in Jammu and Kashmir. “The Chinese side reiterated that the Kashmir dispute was left over from history between India and Pakistan and should be properly and peacefully resolved in accordance with the UN Charter, relevant Security Council resolutions and bilateral agreements,” it said.
Thereafter, the statement noted that “both sides opposed any unilateral actions that further complicate the already volatile situation”.
The joint statement also said that the two countries had reaffirmed their resolve towards “robust implementation of the CPEC projects” and the extension of the project to Afghanistan.
Pakistan and China have always included a reference to Kashmir with their respective positions in their previous joint statements issued after important high-level meetings.
India is most likely to issue a statement as it has on previous Pakistan-China joint statements.
After the then Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi’s visit to Islamabad in June 2020, India had “rejected” the reference to Jammu and Kashmir in the joint statement, reiterating that J&K is an integral part of India. On the mention of CPEC, India had said that India opposes “any actions by other countries to change the status quo in Pakistan-occupied J&K”. There was another similar statement issued two months later.
Similarly, India had objected to the mention of Jammu and Kashmir in the joint statement for the third round of China-Pakistan strategic dialogue in July 2021.
The last time that New Delhi had reiterated its protest was for the joint statement issued after the meeting of Chinese President Xi Jinping and Pakistani president Shehbaz Sharif in November 2021.
Later on Saturday, Pakistani and Chinese foreign ministers met with the acting Taliban foreign minister Amir Khan Muttaqi under the aegis of the fifth China-Pakistan-Afghanistan Trilateral Foreign Ministers’ Dialogue.