Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi wanted to visit New Delhi along with his trip to Pakistan this weekend but India has politely asked him to reschedule it, highly placed sources said on Wednesday.
Wang is scheduled to visit Islamabad on September 7 amid the hue and cry raised by Pakistan over the Indian government’s decision to end the special status of Jammu and Kashmir in August.
After his visit to Islamabad, the Chinese Foreign Minister wanted to travel to New Delhi but India saw it as an attempt to hyphenate the India-Pakistan relationship and hence asked him to reschedule it, the sources told media.
The sources, however, said it was unlikely to have any impact on the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to India later this year.
India is of the firm view that it will not allow any hyphenation of its relations with Pakistan and hence has been preventing such attempts. It asserts that any foreign leader can visit New Delhi on a standalone trip, without trying to hyphenate the ties.
The sources said India has asked leaders of some other countries too not to come to New Delhi if they combined it with their trip to Pakistan.
Pakistan has been desperately trying to internationalise the issue of Jammu and Kashmir and rope in some country for mediation. Its attempts, however, have failed as all countries have maintained that it is a bilateral matter between India and Pakistan.
China, which Pakistan considers its “all-weather friend”, has already tried once to get the UN to get into the issue of Jammu and Kashmir after applicability of Article 370 in the state was abrogated in August.
It got the matter discussed ‘informally’ once by the UN Security Council, which, however, refrained from issuing any formal statement on the matter.
External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar in August visited China and during talks with Wang he had said the decision regarding Jammu and Kashmir and carving out of Union Territory of Ladakh would have no impact on the ongoing India-China boundary talks.
“The issue (Aksai Chin) came up in terms of when they were referring to what they thought the impact of Article 370 was going to be and how it could impact India-China boundary talks. I told them that it does not change the international boundaries or the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China and the Line of Control (LoC) with Pakistan. I conveyed our position to him which was that we maintain our international boundary according to our map,” Jaishankar had said.
Jaishankar’s visit was in the context of preparing the ground for the visit of the Chinese President to India.