J&K move not to impact India-China LAC, Modi to tell Xi

Chinese President Xi Jinping shakes hands with India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi as they walk along the East Lake in Wuhan, China, April 28, 2018. (Photo by Reuters)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will convey to Chinese President Xi Jinping that New Delhi's August 5 decisions on Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) will have no implication on the perceptions of India and China on the alignment of the de facto boundary between the two nations.

The issue of J&K will continue to cast a shadow over the “informal summit” Modi and Xi will hold at Mamallapuram in Tamil Nadu on Friday and Saturday.

Modi, however, is unlikely to broach the subject as New Delhi maintains that stripping J&K of its “special status” and reorganizing the state into two Union Territories were its “sovereign decisions” and not what it could discuss with any foreign nation. But in case Chinese President raises the issue, Prime Minister would underline that decision of his government on J&K was an “internal affair” of India and it would have no implication on the perceptions of New Delhi and Beijing about the alignment of the Line of Actual Control (LAC), which serves as the de facto boundary in the absence of a settled border between the two neighbouring nations, sources said on Wednesday.

China has been opposing Modi Government's August 5 decisions on J&K – not only to stand by its “iron brother” Pakistan but also because it was concerned over the implication of the moves on its protracted boundary dispute with India.

Beijing perceived New Delhi's decisions on J&K as “unilateral” moves by Modi Government to change the status quo in the disputed territory and strengthen its claim – not only on areas of Kashmir under the occupation of Pakistan but also on 5183 sq. kms of areas ceded by Pakistan to China in 1963 as well as on Aksai Chin – a disputed territory between India and China.

Sources in New Delhi pointed out that India had a certain perception about the alignment of its LAC with China and it was aware that the neighbouring country had a different perception about it. But while India was keen to work with China to narrow the differences and mutually clarify the alignment of the LAC, its August 5 decisions on J&K would have no impact on the perceptions of both sides, they added, explaining the approach New Delhi is likely to take during the “informal summit” between Prime Minister and Chinese President.

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