China opposes G20 meeting in Indian-ruled Kashmir and will skip it


NEW DELHI (Reuters) China opposed and said it would not attend the G20 tourism conference next week in India’s disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir.

India, which holds this year’s G20 presidency, held a series of meetings across the country ahead of the New Delhi summit in September.

“China strongly opposes holding any G20 meeting in conflict areas and will not participate in such meetings,” said Wang Wenbin, spokesman for China’s foreign ministry.

In 2019, India split the Muslim-majority state of Jammu and Kashmir to create two federal territories, Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

Most of Ladakh is under Chinese control. Relations between New Delhi and China have been strained since the 2020 military clashes in Ladakh that killed 24 soldiers.

The Tourism Working Group meeting for G20 member countries will be held from 22nd to 24th May in Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir.

Kashmir is fully claimed by nuclear-armed neighbor India and Pakistan, which is allied with China, but is also partially ruled and has also opposed India’s decision to host the G20 meeting in Kashmir. 

India countered this, claiming it was free to hold meetings on its own territory. The ministry said on Friday that peace and tranquility at the border are essential for normal relations with China.