BEIJING: Underlining that India and China are “friends, not rivals”, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Sunday said the two countries need to expand and enhance cooperation to create enabling condition for the settlement of the border dispute.
Speaking at a press meet, Wang said Beijing and New Delhi should help “succeed instead of undercutting each other and should strengthen cooperation instead of harbouring suspicion at each other”.
He was speaking at his annual press meet along the sidelines of the on-going convening in Beijing of the National People‘s Congress (NPC).
“China and India relationship is essentially about how the world’s two largest developing countries get along and proceed development and rejuvenation together. As two ancient civilisations and two major emerging economies, India and China have a broad common interest and tremendous potential for cooperation,” he said.
He said China is committed to settling the boundary dispute through dialogue and consultation.
“China and India are each other friends, not rivals. China and India need to help each other succeed instead of undercutting each other, and they should strengthen cooperation instead of harbouring suspicion at each other,” Wang Yi said.
“The border dispute is not the whole story of the India-China relationship. It is important that the two sides manage the dispute properly and at the same time expand and enhance cooperation to create enabling condition for the settlement of the issue,” he added.
India and China have been engaged in a stand-off along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) since April-May last year due to actions of the Chinese Army.
Last month, the disengagement process from both the north and south banks of Pangong Lake was completed by the two nations.
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said on Friday that complete disengagement “would allow both sides to consider de-escalation of forces in Eastern Ladakh as that alone will lead to the restoration of peace and tranquillity and provide conditions for progress in our bilateral relationship.”
Earlier in February, after the completion of disengagement in the Pangong Lake area, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar emphasised that both sides should now quickly resolve the remaining issues along the LAC in Eastern Ladakh.
Jaishankar said that once disengagement is completed at all friction points, then the two sides could also look at broader de-escalation of troops in the area and work towards the restoration of peace and tranquillity.