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India, China should properly handle differences, move towards stability, envoy Sun Weidong says

Beijing’s envoy to India Sun Weidong says India & China should meet each other halfway, shift from urgent dispute settlement to regular management.

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New Delhi: India and China should “meet each other halfway” and should “properly handle differences”, Beijing’s envoy to New Delhi Sun Weidong said.

“China and India should properly handle differences. We should place the boundary question in an appropriate position in bilateral relations and speak a fair, reasonable mutually acceptable solution through dialogue and consultations,” Sun said Thursday on the occasion of the 72nd anniversary of the founding of China.

“Both sides need to meet each other halfway to move the situation towards stability and shift it from urgent dispute settlement to regular management and control, so as to jointly safeguard the peace and tranquility of the border area,” Sun added.

Sun’s remarks come amid India-China border standoff in eastern Ladakh since last year, which also witnessed a violent clash at Galwan Valley where 20 Indian soldiers lost their lives. Beijing has several times in the past blamed India for the standoff at the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

The Chinese envoy also added that China and India “should stick to the right direction of bilateral relations.”

“We should view the bilateral ties from a historical and strategic perspective, and uphold the strategic consensus that China and India are opportunities of development and cooperation partners to each other instead of being threats or competitive rivals,” he said.

On India being part of the Quad with the US, Australia and Japan, Sun said, both Beijing and New Delhi should “adhere to the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, respect the core interests and major concerns of each other, uphold strategic autonomy, and refrain from interfering in each other’s internal affairs or engaging in any “alliance” or “quasi alliance” targeting the other.”

The envoy also said despite the Covid-19 pandemic economic, the trade cooperation between both countries has “bucked the trend”.

“In the first eight months this year, bilateral trade reached $78.5 billion with a growth of about 52 percent year-on-year. We should provide a fair and just business environment for companies from both countries to invest and operate rather than impose discriminatory and restrictive measures on them,” he said.

Also read: ‘Australia, India don’t want to constrain China’: PM Morrison says Beijing can be Quad ‘partner’

‘China continues to deploy large number of troops’

India, meanwhile, Thursday said China is still deploying a large number of troops and armaments in border areas.

“China continues to deploy a large number of troops and armaments in the border areas. It was in response to Chinese actions, that our armed forces had to make appropriate counter deployments in these areas to ensure that India’s security interests are fully protected,” Arindam Bagchi, spokesperson, Ministry of External Affairs, said in reaction to the comments made by the Chinese Foreign Ministry Thursday.

Bagchi was responding to the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying’s statement at a media briefing in Beijing, where she said, “The Indian side has long pursued the “forward policy” and illegally crossed the LAC to encroach on China’s territory, which is the root cause of tension in the China-India border situation.”

Army chief General M.M. Naravane said such border disputes will continue to take place between India and China until and unless both sides agree to the boundary agreement.

“We have an outstanding border issue. We are again well prepared to meet any misadventure that may occur as we have demonstrated in the past … Such kinds of incidents will continue to occur till such time that a long-term solution is reached, and that is to have a boundary agreement. And that should be the thrust of our efforts so that we have lasting peace along the northern (China) border,” he stated during the annual session of PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Also read: India hits back after China’s Galwan Valley barb, calls out Beijing for ‘provocative behaviour’


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