New Delhi: China said Friday the Galwan Valley clash was a “situation that neither China nor India would like to see”, and that frontline troops on both sides “are currently disengaging”. He also said the two sides should be “partners than rivals”.
Chinese Ambassador Sun Weidong, in his first address since the deadly 15 June clash at the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh, said: “Currently our frontline troops are disengaging on the ground in accordance with the consensus by the military corps commander talks.”
The ambassador’s statement comes days after India’s National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and China’s Foreign Minister and State Councillor Wang Yi — the countries’ Special Representatives on the boundary question — spoke to each other over the phone.
Sun said what happened at the Galwan Valley has given rise to “wrong perceptions” on the agreement reached by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping, who plan to take forward their bilateral ties.
“These have brought disruptions to the bilateral relations,” he said, adding that China and India should build on the understanding that disputes should not become differences, something Modi and Xi agreed upon at their informal summits in Wuhan and Mamallapuram.
Sun also insisted: “China has all along advocated that peace is of paramount importance. We are neither a warlike state nor an assertive country. The right and wrong of what recently happened at the Galwan Valley is very clear. China will firmly safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity, and ensure the peace and tranquillity in the border areas.”
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Mutual strategic interests
Sun said China and India have mutual strategic interests, and that the “two countries pose no threat to each other”, even though both sides remained engaged in a fierce border face-off at the LAC that began in early May.
“Only through a correct view of each other’s intentions with a positive, open and inclusive attitude, can we ensure a stable and long-term development of bilateral relations and avoid any strategic miscalculation,” he said.
“China and India have jointly advocated the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, and upheld independent foreign policies. We should naturally see each other as positive factors in the changing global landscape as well as partners in realising our respective dreams of development. China hopes it will develop well, and wishes India the same,” the ambassador added.
China-India boundary issue ‘sensitive and complicated’
In Thursday’s conversation between Doval and Wang, India raised the issue of “territorial sovereignty and integrity” with China and that the “respect” for LAC should be strictly maintained.
Sun said the issue of demarcation of the border between India and China is a question “left over by history”, and that it remains “sensitive and complicated”.
“We have so far established a number of mechanisms such as the Special Representatives talks on the China-India boundary question, and maintained smooth communication through diplomatic and military channels,” he said, adding that during the phone conversation, both SRs agreed to follow the important consensus reached by leaders of the two countries during the informal summits.
The envoy said as both sides are now “facing a complex situation”, New Delhi and Beijing both should “take a broader and far-sighted view, work together to overcome and turn it around as soon as possible”.
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