Published On: Fri, Oct 11th, 2019

China news: Xi visits India for talks as Kashmir tensions mount | World | News

Beijing and its traditional ally Pakistan have been angered by India’s decision two months ago to revoke the special status of the part of Kashmir it controls, which was accompanied by a crackdown on dissent. India insists it is an internal matter aimed at developing the region and there was no room for a third country to be involved, after Xi said he was watching the situation closely and assured Pakistan of Chinese support.

In a move to tighten its grip on Jammu and Kashmir, parts of which are claimed by Pakistan and China, India, in early August, dropped a constitutional provision that allowed the country’s only Muslim-majority state to make its own laws.

Xi arrived on Friday in the southern city of Chennai where Mr Modi was to take him on a tour of the nearby Shore Temple dating back to the seventh and eighth centuries when regional kingdoms had direct ties with Chinese provinces.

Ahead of his arrival, police detained the chief of the Tibetan Youth Congress, Gonpo Dhondup, and 11 Tibetan students in several locations, including at the airport and a highway leading to the summit venue.

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Students with masks of China’s President Xi Jinping sit in a formation reading (Image: Reuters)

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Narendra Modi and Xi Jinping shake hands at Shore Temple (Image: GETTY)

Mr Dhodup shouted: “We want freedom” as he was wrestled away by six policemen in a video shared by the Tibetan Youth Congress.

He was then pushed into an autorickshaw and taken away by police.

Two Tibetan activists, both women, also staged a protest inside Chennai airport, holding a banner that read: “Xi Jinping Stop Occupation in Tibet – Free Tibet.”

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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi talks with China’s President Xi Jinping during their visit to Shore Temple (Image: AFP)

China sent troops into remote, mountainous Tibet in 1950 in what it officially terms a peaceful liberation and has ruled there ever since.

The Dalai Lama, Tibet’s spiritual leader, fled to India in 1959 after a failed uprising against Chinese rule.

China has branded him a dangerous reactionary who seeks to split off nearly a quarter of the Chinese land mass.

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Narendra Modi welcomes Xi Jinping to India (Image: GETTY)

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Activists of Assam Hindu Suraksha Sena organisation burn a photograph of Xi Jinping (Image: AFP)

Mr Modi and Xi will be aiming to move forward on a set of confidence-building measures during the informal summit in Mamallapuram, a short distance from Chennai, an Indian source briefed on the discussions said.

India and China share a 3,500 km (2,200 mile) border, over which they went to war in 1962, and the issue remains a sore point.

Chinese state media quoted Vice Foreign Minister Luo Zhaohui as saying: “Xi will have an in-depth communication with Modi on issues that have overall, long-term and strategic significance on bilateral relations, set the tune and guide the direction for future development of the ties.”

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Both India and China possess an arsenal of nuclear weapons (Image: Daily Express)

China’s economy is nearly five times larger than that of India and its annual defence spending four times larger, foreign affairs commentator C Raja Mohan wrote in a column in the Indian Express.

He added: “This power imbalance translates into an unpleasant fact on the diplomatic front – that China is under no pressure to please India.”

Last month it was revealed India was spending £408million ($500million) to develop groundbreaking hypersonic weapons in a move which could give it a huge technological edge over neighbour Pakistan.

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Narendra Modi and Xi Jinping pose for a picture at Krishnas Butter Ball (Image: AFP)

Frank O’Donnell, a South Asia expert at the US Naval War College, speaking in his personal capacity, told “Following its long-term trend of military technological assistance with Pakistan to ensure that Pakistan has rough military parity with India, it is likely that China is working with Pakistan on hypersonic missiles.

“Once these are in place, the high difficulty of stopping hypersonic missile attacks will pressure policy makers in episodes of deep crisis to launch such a missile strike before the other does, destroying the enemy’s hypersonic missiles on the ground.

“The emerging regional hypersonic missile race will exacerbate its existing nuclear arms race, unless India, China and Pakistan begin to negotiate arms control measures regarding these technologies.”

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