China’s Ambassador Sun Weidong on Wednesday said that Beijing and New Delhi should not let their differences come in the way of the overall bilateral relation, reported PTI. The envoy’s remarks came amid escalating tension between India and China along the Line of Actual Control.
“China and India are fighting against Covid-19 and we are also facing the important task to consolidate and strengthen [our] bilateral relations,” the envoy said during an online session of the Confederation of Young Leaders. “We should correctly view our differences and never let them shadow the overall situation of bilateral cooperation. At the same time, we should gradually seek understanding through communication and constantly resolve differences.”
Weidong said the two nations should adhere to the fact that they provide opportunities for each other and therefore “pose no threat”. “We need to see each other’s development in a correct way and enhance strategic mutual trust,” he added. “China and India should be good neighbors of harmonious coexistence and good partners to move forward hand in hand.”
The two countries should work to strengthen practical cooperation in the fields of investment and production capacity, among others, and expand common interests, he added.
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Over the last two weeks, Chinese troops have clashed with the Indian Army at several points along the Line of Actual Control, ratcheting up tensions between the nuclear-armed neighbours. On Tuesday, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi reportedly met the three service chiefs, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat to discuss the ongoing border stand-off with China.
The two countries have also engaged in a diplomatic spat with Beijing reportedly asking India to stop building infrastructure even on its own side of the LAC. In response, New Delhi has asked China to maintain status quo at the border. The ongoing standoff centres around a strategic bridge being built near the last military post south of the Karakoram Pass that is set to provide significant advantage of access and military mobilisation for India.
Earlier on Wednesday, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said his country’s stand on the border disputes is clear and consistent. “We have been following the important consensus reached by the two leaders and strictly observing the agreements between the two countries,” he said.
Lijian’s remarks came a day after Chinese President Xi Jinping ordered his nation’s army to boost training and battle preparedness to face “worst-case scenarios”.
Last week, India had strongly contested Beijing’s claims that its soldiers had crossed the LAC and entered Chinese territory. The United States had also sided with India and said that tension along the LAC was a reminder of the fact that Chinese aggression can be real, not merely rhetorical.
On Wednesday, United States President Donald Trump offered to mediate between the two countries amid escalating tension at their borders.