NEW DELHI: Confirming that Indian and Chinese troops are disengaging at LAC as per the consensus reached by the military commanders, Chinese ambassador
Friday called for the two countries to have timely strategic dialogue, enhance mutual trust and to shun suspicion and friction in bilateral ties.
In comments which seemed aimed at soothing frayed nerves here, Sun called for India and China to meet each other “half way” at a time they were faced with a complex situation. He said the two countries should be partners and not rivals.
Even as India and China held another round of diplomatic talks Friday to discuss the ongoing disengagement at the border, Sun here sought to “clarify some fundamental points” with a statement on the border situation. He claimed doubts raised here, against the backdrop of developments in the
, about the consensus reached earlier between PM Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping were disrupting bilateral ties.
In his long statement, Sun didn’t mention China’s claim over the Galwan valley and underlined the need for the two countries to work together on a range of issues without falling into “the trap of conflict”. He also recalled the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence from the 1950s and, significantly, how India and China had jointly advocated independent foreign policies.
However, while trying to not sound confrontational, he also said that the right and wrong of what happened at Galwan was very clear. He claimed China was neither a warlike country nor an assertive one and that the two countries needed peace and not confrontation.
On calls in India to cut down imports from China, Sun said “self-protection, non-tariff barriers and restrictive measures” against China are unfair to Chinese enterprises and also to Indian employees who lose their jobs as a result, and Indian consumers.
“One basic fact they ignore is that the current global industrial and supply chains are formed in a process of natural selection by market optimization over the past decades. The business community and people of India are the beneficiaries of China-India economic and trade cooperation,” he said, adding that bilateral ties should move forward and not backward.
He further said China-India economic and trade cooperation had not only boosted industries such as mobile phones, household appliances, infrastructure and automobile making in India, but also created a large number of local jobs.
Sun said neither India nor China wanted to see a Galwan like situation and that NSA Ajit Doval and state councillor Wang Yi had reached a “positive consensus” on easing the border situation in their July 5 conversation.
The ambassador claimed false assumptions had been made about China’s intentions. He described as ‘harmful’ attempts to “exaggerate conflicts and provoke confrontations and regard a close neighbor over thousands of years as enemy and strategic threat”.
China and India have the boundary question left over by history, which is sensitive and complicated, he said and added that there was a need to find a fair and reasonable solution mutually acceptable “through equal consultation and peaceful negotiation”.
“Pending an ultimate settlement, we both agree to work together to maintain peace and tranquility in the border areas,” he said, adding that peace was of “paramount importance” to China.
Sun said both Doval and Wang believed that maintaining peace and tranquility in the border areas matters significantly to the long-term development of bilateral relationship and that the boundary question should be “placed properly” in the bilateral relations.
“We need to respect and accommodate mutual core interests and major concerns, adhere to the principle of non-interference in each other’s internal affairs. We need to seek convergence while putting aside differences and not impose one’s will on the other,” said Sun, adding that China-India relations had gone far beyond the bilateral “scope” and had global strategic significance.
“During their telephone conversation, the two Special Representatives agreed to strengthen communication through the mechanism of the Special Representatives talks, hold Meetings of the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on China-India Border Affairs without interruption, consistently improve and strengthen confidence-building measures and prevent more incidents that undermine peace and tranquility in the border areas. All these will strongly promote the strategic mutual trust between our two countries,” said Sun.