01:26 GMT21 September 2020
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    On Wednesday, China said that it has no plans to become a mediator between India and Pakistan in resolving the Kashmir dispute. A Chinese foreign ministry spokesman said the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has not changed its position on Kashmir and reiterated that it remains a bilateral issue.

    New Delhi (Sputnik) — The clarification comes a day after the Global Times published an article that stated that Beijing's massive investment in the CPEC makes it imperative for China to mediate between India and Pakistan in the Kashmir dispute.

    The CPEC passes through Pakistan-administered Kashmir, a territory which India claims as its own, and a part of which has been ceded by Islamabad to China. Global Times is considered a mouthpiece of the ruling Communist Party of China, sparking concerns in India about a shift in China's stand on the Kashmir issue.

    India opposes any third-party mediation and the article sought to justify Chinese intervention in bilateral disputes on the grounds of protecting heavy investments being made by Beijing under its One Belt and One Road' project.

    "China's position on the issue of Kashmir is clear and consistent. It is an issue left over from history between India and Pakistan, and shall be properly addressed by India and Pakistan through consultation and negotiation," PTI quoted Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang in Beijing.

    Experts in India said there is no reason for China to change its tack on the Kashmir dispute at least in the immediate term. But it highlights different viewpoints within the Communist Party, which currently is not the dominant view, Deep K. Datta-Ray, Associate Professor, at the New Delhi-based O. P. Jindal Global University, said.

    "There is no reason for China to change its position on the Kashmir dispute which traditionally has been that it is a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan. While the Global Times is considered close to the Communist Party, it doesn't have the final official word on policy-related matters. But what the article highlights is that an alternative position on the Kashmir dispute exists within the party, which is a part and parcel of China's inner party democracy. Having said that, China values its economic interests wherever they are involved and at stake," he told Sputnik.

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    Tags:
    Kashmir, Pakistan, India, China
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