Confirming that Indian and Chinese troops are disengaging at LAC as per the consensus reached by the military commanders, Chinese ambassador Sun Weidong Friday called for the two countries to have timely strategic dialogue, enhance mutual trust, and to shun suspicion and friction in bilateral ties. In comments which seemed aimed at soothing frayed nerves here, Sun called for India and China to meet each other “half way” at a time they were faced with a complex situation. He said the two countries should be partners and not rivals.
Even as India and China held another round of diplomatic talks Friday to discuss the ongoing disengagement at the border, Sun here sought to “clarify some fundamental points” with a statement on the border situation. He claimed doubts raised here, against the backdrop of developments in the Galwan valley , about the consensus reached earlier between PM Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping were disrupting bilateral ties. In his lengthy statement, Sun didn’t mention China’s claim over the Galwan valley and underlined the need for the two countries to work together on a range of issues without falling into “the trap of conflict”. He also recalled the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence from the 1950s and, significantly, how India and China had jointly advocated independent foreign policies.
However, while trying to not sound confrontational, he also said that the right and wrong of what happened at Galwan was very clear. He claimed China was neither a warlike country nor an assertive one and that the two countries needed peace and not confrontation. On calls in India to cut down imports from China, Sun said “self-protection, non-tariff barriers, and restrictive measures” against China are unfair to Chinese enterprises and also to Indian employees who lose their jobs as a result and Indian consumers. “One basic fact they ignore is that the current global industrial and supply chains are formed in a process of natural selection by market optimization over the past decades. The business community and people of India are the beneficiaries of China-India economic and trade cooperation,” he said, adding that bilateral ties should move forward and not backward.