China on Tuesday said the border conflict with India should be seen in a proper bilateral context, and urged New Delhi to ensure that differences do not escalate into disputes. Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin, at a press conference, called for “stronger solidarity and cooperation” between India and China, saying that it would help the development of the two countries as well as “add stability and positive energy to world peace and prosperity”.

“The two sides should always place the boundary issue in an appropriate position in bilateral relations and avoid differences escalating into disputes,” Wang said. “It is hoped that India will work with China in the same direction and jointly safeguard the overall interests of bilateral relations with concrete actions.”

Wang was responding to a question about Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar’s comment on August 2, that “reaching an equilibrium with Beijing is not going to be easy” and that New Delhi must stand its ground and make Beijing value it more, the Hindustan Times reported.

Asked by Reuters about India considering measures to prevent its trading partners in South East Asia from rerouting Chinese goods to India with little added value, Wang said it was in New Delhi’s own interests to keep imports from Beijing going.

“Chinese products exported to India meet the demand of India’s domestic market and the needs of production and life for the Indian people,” Wang said. “Practical cooperation between the two countries is mutually beneficial and win-win. It is not in India’s own interest to sabotage this pattern of cooperation.”

Relations between India and China have soured after a violent clash between armies of the two countries in Galwan Valley, Ladakh, along the Line of Actual Control on June 15. As many as 20 Indian soldiers and an unnamed number of Chinese counterparts were killed in the clash. On June 29, India banned 59 Chinese-linked apps, citing security concerns. It has also taken measures to cut down on Chinese imports.

Earlier on Tuesday, China had asked India to treat Confucius Institutes and higher education cooperation between the two countries in an “objective and fair manner”. The Confucius Institute programme – administered by the Chinese government agency Hanban – teaches Mandarin and runs hundreds of those institutes abroad.

Indian intelligence agencies have expressed security concerns about the institutes, which include Mumbai University and the Vellore Institute of Technology.