Eye on China is a weekly bulletin offering news and analysis related to the Middle Kingdom from an Indian interests perspective. This week we cover the UNSC meeting on Kashmir, tensions between China and Vietnam, the protests in Hong Kong, developments in the Sino-US trade war and much more…
I. Kashmir at UNSC
Closed door consultations were held at the UNSC this week over the India-Pakistan question. What followed the consultations were statements by India, China and Pakistan. The big bone of contention essentially was a remark by Zhang Jun, the Chinese permanent representative to the UN, that there was some sort of “consensus of the international community” on the issue. India’s Syed Akbaruddin refuted that quite directly. Nothing tangible was gained from going to the UNSC, other than notionally arguing that the Kashmir file has been once again opened after a long time. In addition, reports tell us that the Chinese representative mentioned Aksai Chin and Chinese sovereignty during the meeting, along with issues related to human rights. Ashok Malik characterises the Chinese approach at the UNSC as “extraordinarily hostile.” Harsh Pant analyses the events, arguing that “as India becomes a more proactive player in the international order and China’s troubles with the rest of the world continue to grow, Beijing will target New Delhi even more pointedly.”
There are two other pieces of this puzzle, namely, Russia and the UK. The former, reports say, mentioned UNSC resolutions for the first time in the context of Kashmir. The latter is said to have backed some sort of a public statement after the consultations. Subsequently, there have been source-based reports of the UK denying taking sides. A UK government readout of a subsequent call between Narendra Modi and Boris Johnson also reaffirms the bilateral nature of the Kashmir issue. Russia, meanwhile, has also reiterated the bilateral nature of the issue. For more, read this Andrew Korybko piece, which offers an interesting assessment of the Russian perspective.
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