China has announced that it will not attend the upcoming G20 tourism meeting in the disputed Himalayan province of Kashmir.
Both China and Pakistan have denounced India for organizing the event in Muslim-majority Kashmir, a region contested by New Delhi and Islamabad.
Both countries claim the entire region but only rule parts of it. Since their independence from the United Kingdom in 1947, they have fought three wars over Kashmir.
In the run-up to the G20 summit in New Delhi in September, India, which has the chair this year, has organized a series of meetings across the country.
“China is firmly opposed to holding any kind of G20 meetings in disputed territory, and will not attend such meetings,” Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Wang Wenbin said on Friday.
Since 2019, when New Delhi modified the status of Jammu and Kashmir state, ending its special status and converting it into a federal entity, relations between India and Pakistan have been frozen.
It divided the state into two federal areas, Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. A significant portion of Ladakh is under Chinese influence.
For decades, the Indian-controlled section of Kashmir has been roiled by an insurgency seeking independence or union with Pakistan, killing tens of thousands of civilians, troops, and Kashmiri rebels.
Ties between New Delhi and Beijing have also been tense since a military clash in Ladakh in 2020 that resulted in the deaths of 24 soldiers.
On May 22-24, Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, will host a meeting of the G20 tourism working group.