China-India Should Cooperate Rather Than Confront Each Other: Chinese Envoy To India

Softening Chinese stance, its Ambassador to India Sun Weidong has proposed that India and China should co-operate rather than confront each other as the two Asian powers have been at loggerheads due to a range of issues, but primarily on border conflicts. Calling the border dispute as “leftover from history”, the Chinese Ambassador opined that the issue be handled through negotiations.

“China and India should cooperate, rather than confront each other, and focus on fighting #COVID19 & boosting economic recovery. The boundary dispute, an issue leftover from history, should be properly handled, & China insists on handling it via dialogues and consultations,” he said.

“At the same time, our determination to safeguard national sovereignty, security and development interests is unwavering. China and India should respect each other, treat each other equally, engage in dialogue and consultation, and properly resolve their differences to find a solution acceptable to both sides,” Sun said.

The Chinese Ambassador shared his views at an online dialogue with the Confederation of Young Leaders and Students and Faculty from Indian Universities on Tuesday. This softening of stance by China assumes significance as India has repeatedly maintained that trade and investments as well as other aspects of the bilateral relationship cannot be normal with the presence of issues at the border.

To propose China’s goodwill to India, he remarked that China had exported over 1,00,000 oxygen concentrators and over 8,000 ventilators along with over 10 crore masks to India in May during the devastating second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic while stating that China did not stand as a bystander when India was grappling with the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic.

India-China relations post Galwan conflict

The volatility in India-China relations still continues after hitting rock bottom last year when the Chinese PLA had a violent face-off with the Indian Army in the Galwan valley in the Ladakh region along the LAC, leading to the martyrdom of 20 Indian Army jawans including a commanding rank officer. Although an official number has not been released by China, ANI citing sources from international intelligence had stated that more than 40 casualties were reported in the Chinese army. The two nations have thereafter resorted to disengagement along the LAC and have held 11 rounds of Corps commander level military talks, however, the complete disengagement and consensus on the border dispute is a long way ahead.