China and India should be partners and not rivals, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Monday, PTI reported.

At his annual press conference in Beijing, the minister said that the two countries should help each other achieve their goals, rather than “draining each other’s energies”, according to Reuters.

Wang noted that relations between Beijing and New Delhi faced “some setbacks” in recent years. He claimed that “some forces” have always tried to create tensions between the two countries.

The minister added that border disputes between India and China are “left over from history”, according to PTI.

“China has all along advocated managing differences through equal footing consultation and actively seeking a fair and equitable settlement and meanwhile not letting it affect or interfere with bigger picture of bilateral cooperation,” he said.

China claims that the state of Arunachal Pradesh is “South Tibet” – an area that falls under its administrative control. On December 29, the country’s Ministry of Civil Affairs had renamed 15 places in Arunachal Pradesh, including eight residential areas, four mountains, two rivers and a mountain pass.

India had, however, dismissed the exercise saying that “invented names” did not change the fact that the state has been and always will be an integral part of the country.

India-China tensions

India and China have also been locked in a border standoff since their troops clashed in Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh in June 2020. Twenty Indian soldiers were killed in the clash. China put the number of casualties on its side at four.

China has been building infrastructure along the Line of Actual Control, which has concerned India. In November, a Pentagon report also pointed out that China’s building of a village between the Tibet Autonomous Region and Arunachal Pradesh has strained its ties with India.

On November 19, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had said that India and China’s relations were going through a “bad patch” because Beijing violated the bilateral agreements.

The minister had said China was aware of what went wrong with its relationship with India. “I have been meeting my counterpart Wang Yi a number of times,” he had remarked. “As you would have experienced, I speak fairly clearly...there is no lack of clarity so if they want to hear it, I am sure they would have heard it.”