Contradictory views on Kashmir emerging from China

May 4, 2017
BEIJING: Contradictory views are emerging from the Chinese officials on the Kashmirdispute with the official media and government experts contradicting the foreign ministry.

On Thursday, a Chinese expert indicated on Thursday that China has accepted Pakistani version of the dispute concerning Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir and using it as the basis for building the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) while ignoring Indian concerns.

“In Kashmir, the CPEC projects mainly go through the Pakistan-controlled Kashmir region. This is what the Pakistani people tell us,” Wang Yiwei, a professor at the School of International Studies at Renmin University in Beijing, told journalists. China describes the PoK as Pakistan “controlled” Kashmir. Chinese experts routinely used the word “people” for government because they see no difference between the two.

State-run Global Times recently ran a commentary saying that China was prepared to mediate between India and Pakistan because it was in Beijing’s self interest to solve the dispute. China should tackle this issue because the interests of Chinese companies which have invested in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir is at stake.
This is in sharp contrast to the foreign ministry’s view that it will not interfere in the Kashmir dispute and leave it to India and Pakistan to settle it among themselves.
“China’s position on the Kashmir issue is clear and consistent. It is an issue left over from history and shall be property handled by India and Pakistan through consultation and negotiation,” the ministry said on Wednesday after the Global Times published the commentary.

“The building of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor does not affect China’s position on the issue,” the ministry said adding that, “China is willing to make constructive efforts for the improvement of India-Pakistan relations”.
There are signs one section of the Chinese elite want to persuade India to join China’s Belt and Road plan while another section wants to play the bully.
Wang, who recently visited Pakistan, said China was now inviting India to join the CPEC. But it is facing resistance from Pakistan to possible Indian involvement.
“We must pay a lot of attention to the concerns of India about the CPEC,” he said adding, “We are now inviting India to take part in it. We are ready to discuss and talk to India but maybe Pakistan is not willing to do it, as (they are saying) all projects are being built in Pakistan. So the China’s government is also confused. These are the problems,” he said.