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  • Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the BRICS Summit in Xiamen in the southeast of China.

    Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the BRICS Summit in Xiamen in the southeast of China. | Photo: Reuters

Published 9 October 2019

The talks are aimed at enhancing the relations the leaders built when they met in the Chinese city of Wuhan last year to help stabilize ties after a standoff in another contested section of their long border.

India’s far-right Prime Minister Narendra Modi will welcome Chinese President Xi Jinping at an informal summit on Oct. 11-12, the Indian foreign ministry informed Wednesday, their talks come at a tense time over the situation in occupied Kashmir.

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“The forthcoming Chennai Informal Summit will provide an opportunity for the two leaders to continue their discussions on overarching issues of bilateral, regional and global importance and to exchange views on deepening India-China Closer Development Partnership,” the Indian ministry said in a statement.

The talks are aimed at enhancing the relations the leaders built when they met in the Chinese city of Wuhan last year to help stabilize ties after a standoff in another contested section of their long border, far removed from Kashmir.

Yet Modi’s decision on Aug. 5 to revoke the special status of Kashmir and Jammu by removing a constitutional provision that prevented non-Kashmiris to purchase any property in the Muslim-majority state, brought condemnation from Pakistan and its old ally, China, which took the matter to the U.N. Security Council.

During a meeting with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan in Beijing on Wednesday, Xi said that he was watching the situation in Kashmir closely, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

Xi said that the right and wrong of the situation was clear and India and Pakistan should resolve the dispute via peaceful dialogue, according to Xinhua.

China issued on Aug. 7 a strong-worded warning to India over its moves in the contested territory over the past few years.

"Recently India has continued to undermine China's territorial sovereignty by unilaterally changing its domestic law," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said in a press conference.

"Such practice is unacceptable and will not come into force. We urge India to exercise prudence in words and deeds concerning the boundary question, strictly abide by relevant agreements concluded between the two sides and avoid taking any move that may further complicate the boundary question."

The ruling over Occupied Kashmir will now allow Indian Hindus to purchase properties in Jammu and Kashmir, which activists say warned would be a similar policy to that of Israeli settlements in Palestine. 

Along with revoking the special status, the government divided the state in two Union Territories, meaning they will be ruled by the federal government while losing statehood. 

The constitutional provisions revoked Monday were the bedrock of the treaty of accession from 1947 through which Jammu and Kashmir's ruler acceded his region to Indian territory.

For 30 years, Occupied Kashmir is fighting for its independence in which at least 50,000 people have been killed. Critics say the decision to revoke autonomy will cause further alienation and fuel the armed resistance.

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