NEW DELHI – India on Thursday hit back at China over its objection to the bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories, saying the reorganisation is entirely its internal affair and it does not expect other countries to comment on such matters.
India also said that China continues to be in occupation of a large tract of area in the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.
“It has also illegally acquired Indian territories from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) under the so-called China-Pakistan Boundary Agreement of 1963,” a statement quoted Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar as saying.
Jammu and Kashmir was bifurcated on Thursday into two union territories — Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh — in accordance with the government’s August 5 announcement revoking the state’s special status under Article 370.
China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told the media in Beijing on Thursday that “India unilaterally changed its domestic laws and administrative division challenging China’s sovereignty.”
“This is unlawful and void and this is not effective in any way and will not change the fact that the area is under Chinese actual control,” he said.
Reacting to China’s statement, Kumar said China is well aware of India’s consistent and clear position on this issue.
“The matter of reorganisation of the erstwhile state of Jammu & Kashmir into the Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh is entirely an internal affair of India,” he said.
“We do not expect other countries, including China, to comment on the matters which are internal to India, just as India refrains from commenting on internal issues of other countries,” Kumar said.
Asserting that the Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh are integral part of India, he said India expects other countries to respect its sovereignty and territorial integrity.