India, China are each other’s friends & partners, should create enabling conditions for settlement of border issue, says Chinese FM Wang Yi
China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that China and India are each other’s friends and partners and not threats or rivals. The two sides need to help each other to succeed instead of undercutting each other and should intensify cooperation instead of harboring suspicion at each other.
Replying to media queries at his annual press briefing in Beijing on the sidelines of the on-going annual session of the National People’s Congress, Wang said, the boundary dispute is an issue left from history and is not the whole story of China-India relationship. It is important that the two sides manage dispute properly and at the same time, expand and enhance cooperation to create enabling conditions for the settlement of the issue. It falls on both sides to solidify the existing consensus, strengthen dialogue and communication, and improve the various management mechanisms to jointly safeguard peace and tranquility in the border area. He added that returning to peaceful negotiation is the right way forward. However, he did not say anything about next phase of disengagement at other friction points after disengagement at Pangong Tso.
India has been maintaining that full disengagement and de-escalation at various friction points along the LAC, would provide conditions for progress of bilateral relations. India’s Ambassador to China Vikram Misri met Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Luo Zhaohui on Friday in Beijing and emphasised the importance of completing disengagement in the remaining areas. Both the Foreign Ministers also spoke to each other on phone for about 75 minutes on 25th February in this regard.
At Sunday’s annual press, Wang told reporters that the China-India relationship is essentially about how the world’s two largest developing countries get along and pursue development and rejuvenation together. He said, on many important issues our positions are the same or close due to similar national realities. As two ancient civilizations next door to each other and two major emerging economies, each with over 1 billion people, China and India have broad common interests and tremendous potential for cooperation.
Wang emphasized on the need to build on the important common understanding reached by the top leaders of the two countries and that the two countries are not threats to each other but opportunities to each other’s development. He said, together, we can bring greater benefits to the 2.7 billion people in China and India and make greater contributions to the coming of an Asian century.