At a time when the Indian and Chinese troops are confronting each other at the Sikkim Border, China's offer to play a "constructive role" to help mediate between India and Pakistan is raising eyebrows.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said India and Pakistan are important South Asian countries but the "situation in Kashmir has attracted the attention of the international community."
The Chinese have not played a constructive role so far when it comes to Kashmir. When the UN was designating Hafiz Saeed founder of Lakshar-e-Taiba as an international terrorist responsible for a number of terrorist attacks including the 2008 Mumbai Attacks, the Chinese blocked it. So getting the trust of India on Kashmir is not going to be easy.
From the very beginning , India has maintained that the Kashmir issue is a bilateral matter with Pakistan, and that there is no scope for a third party mediation.
Expressing concern over the tension between India and Pakistan, Geng said "the conflict occurred near the Line of Control of Kashmir. This will not only harm the peace and stability of the two countries but also the peace and tranquillity of the region."
"We hope the relevant sides can do more things that are conducive for peace and stability in the region and avoiding escalating the tensions and China is willing to play a constructive role in improving relations between India and Pakistan," he told reporters. (mid-day.com)
The India-China dispute
The Chinese comments aimed at getting involved in Indo- Pak tensions come at a time the armies of India and China are locked in a standoff in Doklam area in the Sikkim section mainly for the reason that the Indian troops acted in coordination with the Bhutan government to oppose the construction of a road by Chinese troops in the Donglang or Doklam region claimed by Thimphu. Both sides have deployed more troops in the sector due to the three-week-old standoff. China has demanded that India withdraw its troops from the area as a pre-condition for meaningful dialogue.
These remarks also come two days after a Chinese analyst wrote in the state-run Global Times that a "third country's" Army could enter Kashmir at Pakistan's request, using the "logic" the Indian Army used to stop the Chinese military from constructing the road in Doklam (freepressjournal.in)
Foreign secretary Jaishankar had said at an event in Singapore, "It's not the first time that it (Sino-Indian border dispute) has happened. How do you handle it is a test of our maturity. I see no reason, having handled so many situations in the past, that we will not handle this." Jaishankar also said that the two countries "must not allow differences to become disputes".
Geng elaborated, "China has pointed out many times that the illegal trespass into China's territory across a mutually recognized borderline is different in nature to frictions that happened in undefined sections of the boundary. This is totally different from the undefined boundary in eastern, middle and western sectors."
He reiterated the 1890 Sikkim-Tibet treaty that China says confirmed the border, although India has stressed that the convention was only "the basis of alignment" and that the boundary had not been delineated or demarcated.(hindustantimes.com)
Indian security forces have been carrying out combing operations in parts of Kashmir to clear the areas of militants supported by Pakistan who launch attacks against them. On Monday evening, militants targeted a bus carrying Amarnath pilgrims and killed a total of seven people. Lashkar-e-Taiba commander and Pakistani national Abu Ismail have emerged as the mastermind of the audacious attack. (freepressjournal.in)
It is also interesting to note that neither the spokesperson nor the Chinese government formally condemned the terror attack on Amarnath pilgrims in Kashmir on Monday.