NEW DELHI (Reuters) – China announced on Friday that it would not attend a G20 tourism summit next week in India’s disputed Himalayan province of Kashmir.

In the run-up to the G20 summit in New Delhi in September, India, which has the chair this year, has scheduled a series of meetings around the nation.

“China is firmly opposed to holding any kind of G20 meeting in disputed territory, and will not attend such meetings,” said Wang Wenbin, a spokeswoman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

India divided the Muslim-majority state of Jammu and Kashmir in 2019 to form the two federal regions of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

A significant portion of Ladakh is under Chinese influence.

Ties between New Delhi and Beijing have been tense since a military conflict in Ladakh in 2020, which resulted in the deaths of 24 troops.

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

Kashmir is claimed in its entirety but governed in part by nuclear-armed rivals India and China-ally Pakistan, which has also expressed opposition to India’s intention to host a G20 conference in Kashmir.

India has responded by asserting that it is allowed to convene meetings on its own territory. It said on Friday that peace and tranquillity along its border are necessary for regular relations with China.

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