China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi has said that the diplomatic handling of the Doklam standoff showed the importance of the bilateral relations between New Delhi and Beijing.

Wang is in India to attend the Russia-India-China foreign ministers’ meeting, which began on Monday. He is the first top Chinese official to visit India since the 74-day standoff between the Indian and Chinese military in the Sikkim sector was ended.

Ahead of his visit, Wang said at a symposium in Beijing last week that China values its friendship with India as “we are each other’s big neighbours and ancient civilisations”.

The speech, which was posted on the Foreign Ministry’s website, said India and China have “far greater shared strategic interests than differences and far greater needs for cooperation than partial friction”.

The Indo-China standoff at Doklam near the Sikkim border went on from June to August. The Doklam plateau is located near the tri-junction of India, Bhutan and China. Both Thimphu and Beijing claim it as their territory.

Beijing and New Delhi both maintained that troops from the other nation had transgressed into their territory. Bilateral ties were strained after the Indian Army stopped China from constructing a road in Doklam. On August 29, India announced that it was disengaging its troops from Doklam.

Maintaining Beijing’s stand, Wang said the end to the standoff “reflected the value and importance of China-India relations and demonstrated sincerity and responsibility of maintaining regional peace and stability”.