Beijing: China on Friday said that it will not attend the next week's G20 Tourism Working Group meeting in Jammu and Kashmir, stating that it is "firmly" opposed to holding any such meetings in the "disputed territory."
Under India's presidency, the third G20 Tourism Working Group meeting is scheduled to take place in Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir from May 22-24. "China firmly opposes holding any form of G20 meetings on disputed territory. We will not attend such meetings," Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin said in a regular press conference when asked about several reports doing the rounds that China will boycott G20 meetings planned in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir.
Incidentally, China is a close ally of Pakistan and relations between India and Pakistan have been precarious for many years with regard to cross-border terrorism emanating from Pakistan.
The tourism industry has played a crucial role in the development of the Union Territory. However, years of instability have impacted the tourism industry, leading to a decline in the number of visitors.
Tourism players in Kashmir believe that the G20 meeting can attract investors and tourists from across the globe.
India assumed the presidency of the G20 grouping on December 1, 2022, and will hold the post for a year.
The G20 summit in Jammu and Kashmir promises to initiate a tidal wave of transformative outcomes, setting the region on a new trajectory towards stability, economic growth, and social development.
On being asked about the ongoing G7 Summit in Hiroshima where US President Joe Biden visited the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum on Friday, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said despite characterizing itself as an advocate of a nuclear-weapons-free world, "Japan sits comfortably under the US's nuclear umbrella."
Wenbin said, "The tragedies caused by nuclear weapons should never happen again. Japan has characterized itself as an advocate of a nuclear-weapons-free world. But in fact, Japan sits comfortably under the US's nuclear umbrella, and it is against and hindering the US' renouncing of the first use of nuclear weapons. We also hope that Japan will no longer take a hypocritical position on the relevant issue."
The G7 leaders are currently in Japan to attend the G7 Summit scheduled to be held in Hiroshima from May 19-21. Notably, Japan assumed the G7 Presidency in 2023.
The G7 Summit is an international forum held annually for the leaders of the G7 member states of France, the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, Italy, and Canada (in order of rotating presidency), and the European Union (EU).
Notably, the G7 grouping comprises Japan, Italy, Canada, France, the US, the UK and Germany. Japan under its G7 Presidency has invited leaders from Australia, Brazil, Comoros, Cook Islands, India, Indonesia, South Korea and Vietnam this year.