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China Doubles Down on its Claim Over Parts of Ladakh in Kashmir

China Wednesday doubled down on its claim over parts of Ladakh in the disputed Jammu and Kashmir region.

“China has never recognized the so-called union territory of Ladakh set up unilaterally and illegally by India,” Mao Ning, spokeswoman of China’s Foreign Ministry, said in a news briefing.

On Aug. 5, 2019, New Delhi revoked the special status granted to the region under Articles 370 and 35A of the Indian constitution and downgraded the erstwhile state into two federally-administered Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and Union Territory of Ladakh.

India’s Supreme Court on Monday upheld these decisions taken by New Delhi and asked the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to hold elections in Kashmir by September next year.

Responding to the verdict, Mao said: “India’s domestic judicial verdict does not change the fact that the western section of the China-India border has always belonged to China,” according to a transcript of the news briefing held in Beijing.

Beijing had objected to the changes to Jammu and Kashmir as China has border claims in Ladakh along what is called as Line of Actual Control.

India rejects such claims.

At least 24 soldiers, 20 from the Indian side, were killed when the two militaries fought, without firearms, at the Line of Actual Control in June 2020.

The border crisis has not yet been resolved although tensions appear to have eased.

Source : aa