onsdag 25. november 2020

China's Xi Jinping is stepping very, very delicately into the Kashmir crisis

China and India desperately want to improve their trade relationship. But it seems whenever the countries' leaders meet, the Himalayas get in the way. When Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met in the Chinese city of Wuhan in 2018, it came after a tense, months-long military standoff over Doklam, a disputed region in the "trijunction" between India, China and Bhutan, high in the Himalayas. That standoff at times appeared poised to spill over to outright conflict, a repeat of the brief border war the two countries fought in 1962.

As Xi lands in the coastal city of Chennai Friday for a two-day visit to India, it's the Kashmir Valley at the northwestern tip of the mountain range that's poised to spoil efforts to improve Sino-Indian ties.

At least this time, Beijing isn't directly involved in the conflict. While it claims parts of eastern Kashmir as its territory, tensions were recently raised when New Delhi scrapped the special status of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, ending its autonomy and setting the stage for mass Hindu migration to the Muslim-majority area.