New Delhi: China has sought to project a positive outcome of the meeting between External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi — which took place Thursday in Bali, Indonesia, on the sidelines of the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting — and said both sides have “effectively managed and controlled differences” since March, when the latter came on a visit to India.
India, on the other hand, maintained a tough stance by remaining firm on its position that until and unless the military standoff on the border is resolved, normalcy will not return to other areas of business.
The standoff along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) which began in 2020, is yet to be completely resolved. In 2021, India and China disengaged from north and south banks of the Pangong Tso and Gogra Heights.
“China and India have maintained communication and exchanges, effectively managed and controlled differences, and bilateral relations have generally shown a momentum of recovery. China and India share common interests and similar reasonable demands,” said a Chinese Foreign Ministry readout issued late Thursday night, quoting Wang.
It added: “Against the backdrop of a century of changes in the world, major countries like China and India will never follow the trend, but are destined to uphold strategic determination and achieve their own development and revitalization in accordance with their established goals, and make greater contributions to the future of mankind.”
Wang, according to the statement, also told Jaishankar that China and India “share common interests and similar reasonable aspirations”.
“The two sides should strengthen coordination & cooperation, and make joint efforts to make international relations more democratic, international order fairer, the developing countries’ voices to be heard more & their legitimate interests better maintained,” the statement said.
The statement also quoted Jaishankar and said that he referred to making “positive progress in maintaining border stability” since he and Wang last met in March in India.
China has meanwhile, expressed its discontent over Prime Minister Narendra Modi extending birthday wishes to the Dalai Lama Wednesday.
India maintains tough stand
During the meeting between Jaishanker and Wang, which took place in-person as both ministers are participating in the G20 Foreign Ministers Meeting in Bali, India clearly stated that it wants “complete disengagement” between forces on both sides from all the friction areas at the eastern Ladakh sector of the LAC.
Ever since the military faceoff between the two countries at Galwan in 2020, India has been firm on its position that it will not be business as usual with Beijing unless there is peace and tranquility in the border areas and that China has to follow the laid down border protocols and agreements.
Earlier this week, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) raided the premises of Chinese mobile phone maker Vivo, and its dealers, at 44 production and operation sites across the country, for allegedly violating the provisions of The Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
In April, the ED had taken action against another Chinese electronics producer Xiaomi, and seized Rs. 5,551.27 crores for violating the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999, in connection with the illegal outward remittances made by the company.
Arindam Bagchi, spokesperson, Ministry of External Affairs, said Thursday that these actions are judicial matters and “not pertaining to the foreign policy dimension”.
“Indian companies who operate here or otherwise need to follow the law of the land and I think our legal authorities are taking steps as per the law of the land,” Bagchi added.
On the Vivo issue, China has said it is “following the issue closely”.
“The Chinese government always asks Chinese enterprises to abide by laws and regulations overseas and firmly supports Chinese enterprises in safeguarding their legitimate rights and interests,” said Wang Xiaojian, spokesperson, Chinese Embassy in India, Wednesday.
He added, “The frequent investigations by the Indian side into Chinese enterprises not only disrupt the enterprises’ normal business activities and damage the goodwill of the enterprises, but also impedes the improvement of business environment in India and chills the confidence and willingness of market entities from other countries, including Chinese enterprises, to invest and operate in India.”
Beijing upset over Modi’s birthday wishes for Dalai Lama
Meanwhile, China has also expressed its discontent over Prime Minister Narendra Modi extending birthday wishes to the Dalai Lama on his 87th birthday Wednesday. It also slammed the US for similarly greeting the exiled Tibetan monk.
“The 14th Dalai Lama is a political exile, disguised as a religious figure, who has long engaged in anti-China separatist activities. We urge the US side to fully understand the importance and highly sensitive nature of Tibet-related issues, seriously respect the core interests of China, understand the anti-China and separatist nature of the Dalai clique, abide by US commitments on Tibet-related issues, refrain from all forms of contact with Dalai and stop sending wrong signals to the world,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said Thursday in Beijing.
He added: “The Indian side also needs to fully understand the anti-China and separatist nature of the 14th Dalai Lama. It needs to abide by its commitments to China on Tibet-related issues, act and speak with prudence and stop using Tibet-related issues to interfere in China’s internal affairs.”
(Edited by Poulomi Banerjee)