BEIJING, Aug 8 (APP):Indian government’s reaffirmation of its claim to Aksai China after unilaterally changing the administrative status of Indian occupied Kashmir has dragged China back into the dispute after the noticeable improvement of bilateral relations between the two countries following their standoff on the Donglang Plateau two years ago.
“Indian Minister of Home Affairs Amit Shah reaffirmed his country’s claims to China’s Aksai Chin region of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region on August 7, 2019, after unilaterally changing the administrative status of the part of Kashmir that’s currently under its control,” according to an analysis by China Global Television Network (CGTN) on Thursday.
After downgrading state of Jammu and Kashmir to a union territory under the direct authority of the central government, New Delhi, at the same time, also unilaterally partitioned its eastern Ladakh region into a separate union territory.
The situation is already problematic as it is, but Shah made it worse when he decided to drag China back into the dispute.
This troublesome stance is due to India’s maximalist approach to the Kashmir conflict; India is trying to claim all the former princely states, which include the regions of Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh, and now China’s Aksai Chin as its own.
Pakistan’s position is that all Kashmiris have the right to decide their political future per a previous UN Resolution mandating a plebiscite on the matter across the entire disputed territory.
Up until Amit Shah’s reaffirmation, the Kashmir conflict remained frozen, but it’s now thawing after India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party nationalists fulfilled their campaign promise to rescind the relative autonomy that had earlier been bestowed upon Jammu and Kashmir.
In view of what’s transpired since the beginning of the week, especially Shah’s shocking statement about the part of Kashmir under Pakistan’s control and China’s Aksai Chin, India might be sending a strong anti-CPEC message.
India would do well to dwell upon the lessons of history in the worst-case scenario that its leadership tries to make Shah’s threats against China and Pakistan a reality.
It’s the general consensus of the international community that India lost 1962 conflict with China, which was also partially fought over Aksai Chin. February’s dogfight between India and Pakistan saw the latter downing an Indian jet.
It’s therefore in India’s best interests to refrain from following through on Shah’s threats and reconsider the wisdom of making such aggressive statements against its neighbors in the first place.