India on Tuesday rejected China's opposition to its move of conferring Union Territory status on Ladakh, calling it an "internal matter" of the country.
"The Jammu and Kashmir Reorgsation Bill 2019, introduced by the Government in Parliament on 5 August, which proposes the formation of a new "Union Territory of Ladakh" is an internal matter concerning the territory of India. India does not comment on the internal affairs of other countries and similarly expects other countries to do likewise," MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said.
Kumar pointed out that India and China had agreed to maintain peace and tranquility along their border until a mutually acceptable solution is found on the issue.
"So far as the India-China Boundary Question is concerned, the two sides have agreed to a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable settlement of the boundary question on the basis of the Political Parameters and Guiding Principles for the Settlement of India-China Boundary Question. Pending such a settlement, both sides have agreed to maintain peace and tranquility in the border areas on the basis of the relevant agreements," Kumar added.
Earlier in the day, China's Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying had said that India's move to bifurcate Jammu and Kashmir undermines China's territorial sovereignty.
"China is always opposed to India's inclusion of the Chinese territory in the western sector of the China-India boundary into its administrative jurisdiction. This firm and consistent position remains unchanged. Recently India has continued to undermine China's territorial sovereignty by unilaterally changing its domestic law," the statement by the spokesperson read.
"Such practice is unacceptable and will not come into force. We urge India to exercise prudence in words and deeds concerning the boundary question, strictly abide by relevant agreements concluded between the two sides and avoid taking any move that may further complicate the boundary question," it added.
The Jammu and Kashmir (Reorgsation) Bill, 2019, which strips Jammu and Kashmir's status of a state and converts it into a Union Territory with legislature and carves out Ladakh region as a UT without legislature, was passed in a division pressed by the Opposition with 125 votes in favour and 61 against, and an NCP member abstaining.
( With inputs from ANI )