India on Thursday strongly rejected remarks on Jammu and Kashmir by a spokesperson of China's permanent mission to the United Nations, asserting that the union territory 'has been, is and shall continue' to be its integral part.
Spokesperson in the Ministry of External Affairs Anurag Srivastava said India expects China to refrain from commenting on the country's internal affairs and respect its sovereignty and territorial integrity.
He said India also expects China to recognise and condemn the scourge of cross-border terrorism that affects the lives of the people of India, including in Jammu and Kashmir.
The spokesperson of China's permanent mission in the UN said the Kashmir issue remained high on the UN Security Council's agenda and China is very closely monitoring the current situation in occupied Kashmir. At present, China is holding presidency of the UN Security Council.
The official also reportedly said that the Kashmir issue is a dispute left from history and should be properly and peacefully resolved.
"We reject the reference to Jammu and Kashmir in a statement made by the spokesperson of the Permanent Mission of the People's Republic of China to the United Nations," Srivastava said.
He was responding to a query on the remarks by the Chinese spokesperson.
"China is well aware of India's consistent position on this issue. The Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir has been, is and shall continue to be an integral part of India. Issues related to J and K are internal matter to India," he said.
"It is, therefore, our expectation that other countries, including China, would refrain from commenting on matters that are internal affairs of India and respect India's sovereignty and territorial integrity," he said.
China has been critical of India's reorganisation of J-K, and has particularly criticised New Delhi for making Ladakh a union territory. China lays claim over several parts of Ladakh.
China has unsuccessfully attempted to raise the issue in the UN after India announced its decision in August last year to withdraw Jammu and Kashmir's special status and bifurcate the state into two union territories.
In August, China pushed for a UNSC meeting on Kashmir after India's decision. However, the attempt was foiled by other member-states of the powerful body.
India's decisions on Kashmir had also cast a shadow over Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to India in October last year for the second informal summit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
However, notwithstanding the acrimony over the issue between the two countries, Modi and Xi held 'successful' talks in Mamallapuram in Tamil Nadu.