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Subtle change in China's stand on Kashmir ahead of Modi-Xi meeting

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New Delhi, Oct 10: China's reference to the "UN Charter" in one of its statements on Kashmir prompted India to hit back at Beijing sharply. New Delhi said that it would be 'best' if the other countries stayed out of India's internal affairs.

Though an all-weather of Islamabad, China seems to be avoiding taking a strong 'Pro-Pakistan' stand on the contentious Kashmir issue ahead of President Xi Jinping's meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday.

A file photo of Modi-Xi meeting

China made the reference of UN resolutions in a statement that was issued after Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan's meeting with Xi Jinping in Beijing on Wednesday. The statement said that China is paying close attention to the Kashmir situation and the facts are clear. Xi reportedly assured Khan that it would support Pakistan on issues related to its "core interests".

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) strongly opposed this and said 'it is not for other countries to comment on the internal affairs of India'.

[Watching Kashmir, will back Pak on core interests: Xi Jinping]

As the Modi-Xi meeting day approached, China appeared to be sofening its stand to make sure that Kashmir does not dominate Friday's meeting in Tamil Nadu.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang in a statement later refrained from mentioning UN. He said that India and Pakistan should engage in dialogue and consultation on all issues including Kashmir issue.

The stand taken by Shuang is more acceptable to India and it has ensured that Modi-Xi meeting on Friday would not be jeopardised by Kashmir issue. With Kashmir being a burning issue between New Delhi and Islamabad, China's stand becomes crucial in the regional context. What makes the situation challenging is that all three countries are neighbours and share boundries.

[China vows to make Gwadar greater than Karachi]

Both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping woiuld be keen to send out a message that all is well between the two countries. Both India and China are major developing countries of the world and major emerging markets.

[Modi-Xi meet: TN govt seeks Madras HC nod for banners welcoming leaders]

When asked about Khan's visit to Beijing ahead of Xi's trip to India and whether the Kashmir issue will figure in his talks with the Chinese leaders, Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said that Beijing's stand is that the Kashmir issue should be resolved between India and Pakistan. Shuang decided to omit reference to 'the UN charter', and subtly changed Beijing's approach to the entire matter so that it does not have a bearing on Modi-Xi meeting.

Friends and foes apart, China would not want trade with India to be affected because of the bitterness between New Delhi and Islamabad.

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