Beijing Not Taking Sides On Kashmir: Chinese Media

23 November 2009
The Hindustan Times

Beijing: The Communist Party’s official newspapers played up a report on Monday, that insisted ‘China is not taking sides on Kashmir’. The report may have sought to reassure New Delhi as tensions simmer over separate stapled Chinese visas for Kashmir residents, Chinese infrastructure investment in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, and the planned visit of separatist leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq to China. The analysts from official think tanks defended the Chinese stance with thinly-veiled rhetoric claiming that India is adopting a ‘Cold War mentality,’ and should ‘stay clear of China’s domestic affairs’ including the Tibetan leader the Dalai Lama. “India mistakenly adopts a kind of Cold War mentality, which is ‘an enemy’s friend is also an enemy,” Sun Shihai, an Asia-Pacific analyst at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, an official think-tank, told the Global Times. Sun cited the Kargil conflict between India and Pakistan in 1999, and said that China’s Kashmir role promotes reconciliation. The report was the lead on the website of the Communist Party’s official newspaper the People Daily, and on front page of its English tabloid the Global Times. The Global Times also published an editorial pointing out that the latest Sino-US joint statement - which encourages a third-party role in India-Pakistan ties - has sparked ‘needless apprehensions’ and ‘geopolitical insecurities’. “Remarks by Farooq were his hope that China could have a bigger role in South Asia,’’ Wang Dehua of the Shanghai Institute for International Studies was quoted saying in the Global Times. “It is wrong for India to relate some of China’s statements, including the China-US joint statement and China’s assistance on power plant constructions in Pakistan, to Beijing’s so-called interference with the Kashmir issue.’’ “India should appreciate the fact that China has never sought a hand in its internal affairs,” Zhao Gancheng, director of the Centre for South Asia at the Shanghai Institute for International Studies was quoted saying. “It should also stay clear of China’s domestic affairs, especially the Dalai Lama issue, restricting his activities in India.”