China not taking sides on Kashmir (2)

08:05, November 23, 2009      

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Kashmir, a Himalayan region, is divided between India and Pakistan but claimed in full by both. Since their Independence from Britain in August 1947, the two countries have fought three wars, two exclusively over Kashmir.

According to the Hindustan Times, China occupies about 38,000 square kilometers of territory in Aksai Chin, in the northeastern corner of Jammu and Kashmir.

Beigh said China has been playing the Kashmir card over the past few months to pressure India over the Arunachal Pradesh issue.
Beijing claims that the 90,000-square-kilometer so-called Indian state belongs to China.

Wang Dehua, a scholar on South Asia studies at the Shanghai Institute for International Studies, disputed the accusation as "groundless" and a result of misunderstanding.

"China has been advocating a resolution through peaceful dialogue between India and Pakistan," Wang said. "Remarks by Farooq were his hope that China could have a bigger role in South Asia.

"It is wrong for India to relate some of China's statements, including the mentioning of South Asia in 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."

Sun Shihai, an expert on the Asia Pacific region at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times that the role played by China in Kashmir, if any, is only in helping maintain peace and promoting reconciliation, citing the Kargil conflict between India and Pakistan in 1999 in noting that mediation efforts made by China and neighboring countries have helped prevent a large-scale war.

"India mistakenly adopts a kind of Cold War mentality, which is 'an enemy's friend is also an enemy,'" Sun said.

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