China opposes G20 meeting in Indian-rule Kashmir and will skip it

G20 foreign ministers' meeting in New Delhi

NEW DELHI/BEIJING (Reuters) - China said on Friday that it is opposed to a G20 tourism meeting next week in the disputed Himalayan territory of Kashmir in India and will not attend.

India, which holds the chair of G20 this year, has organised a series of meetings across the country in the run-up to the summit in New Delhi in September.

"China is firmly opposed to holding any kind of G20 meetings in disputed territory, and will not attend such meetings," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said.

In 2019, India split the Muslim-majority state of Jammu and Kashmir to create the two federal territories of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.

A large chunk of Ladakh is under Chinese control.

Ties between New Delhi and Beijing have been strained since a military clash in Ladakh in 2020 in which 24 soldiers were killed.

Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, will host a meeting of the tourism working group for G20 members on May 22-24.

Kashmir is claimed in full but ruled in part by nuclear-armed neighbours India and China-ally Pakistan, which has also opposed India's decision to hold a G20 meeting in Kashmir.

India has countered the objection saying it is free to hold meetings on its own territory. It said on Friday peace and tranquility on its border is essential for normal ties with China.

(Reporting by Krishn Kaushik in NEW DELHI and Liz Lee in BEIJING, Editing by YP Rajesh and Nick Macfie)