Ambassador Sun Weidong's Remarks Regarding Recent Media Queries on the Bilateral Meeting between Foreign Ministers of China and India
2020/09/14

Q: The recent bilateral meeting between Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and EAM Jaishankar was concluded with five-point agreement. While it is seen as a positive step, some people keep cautious. What's your comment?

A: Since the border-related incidents occurred this year, it has become more important to steer the right direction of China-India relations. The leaders of our two countries reached series of important consensus, including the basic judgement that China and India are partners rather than rivals to each other, and opportunities rather than threats. Therefore, we need peace instead of confrontation; we need to pursue win-win cooperation instead of zero-sum game; we need trust rather than suspicion; we need to move our relationship forward rather than backward. These are the correct direction for us to bring our bilateral relations back on track.

Our two foreign ministers reached five-point consensus, which includes that the two sides should follow leaders' consensus, ease tensions, maintain peace and tranquility in the border areas, continue diplomatic communication and expedite work to conclude new confidence building measures. It is an important step towards the right direction, and will provide political impetus to ease the border situation and promote the bilateral relations.

I have noted that public opinion in India generally made positive comments on the five-point consensus, which is of the view that both sides have demonstrated political will to resolve the border situation. I hope and believe that as long as the two sides earnestly implement the consensus reached by the two foreign ministers to the front-line troops and adhere to the correct means of dialogue and negotiation, the two sides will find a way to overcome the current difficulties.

Q: What is the implication of foreign minister's meeting on India-China relations?

A: As Chinese State Councilor Wang Yi said during the meeting, it is normal for China and India to have differences as two neighboring major countries. What is important is to put these differences in a proper context vis-a-vis bilateral relations. The key to that is to take guidance from the strategic consensus between the two leaders that China and India are not competitive rivals or threats, but cooperation partners and developmental opportunities. China-India relations have once again come to a crossroads. At present, the challenge we're facing is to fight the epidemic, revive the economy and improve people's livelihoods. What China and India need right now is cooperation, not confrontation; we need mutual trust, not suspicion. Whenever the situation gets difficult, it is all the more important to ensure the stability of the overall relationship and preserve mutual trust. As long as the two sides keep moving the relationship in the right direction building on the previous achievements, there will be no difficulty or challenge that can't be overcome.

Q: The Chinese side calls for quick disengagement and withdrawal of trespassing Indian troops? How do you see the current situation on the ground and the future development?

A: Recently, the relevant Indian Ministries had claimed in the statements that Indian troops "pre-empted" Chinese military activity on the South Bank of Pangong Tso Lake, which obviously revealed that there are illegal trespassing the LAC and status quo change in the border areas. Some Indian media had quoted government sources to disclose that the Indian army fired shots on two different occasions. For the first time since 1975, the calm in the border areas was broken by gunfire.

In this context, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi reiterated in the meeting with EAM that the imperative is to immediately stop provocations such as firing and other dangerous actions that violate the commitments made by the two sides. It is also important to move back all personnel and equipment that have trespassed. The frontier troops must quickly disengage so that the situation may deescalate. The Chinese side supports enhanced dialogue between the frontier troops on both sides to solve specific issues, and will stay in touch with the Indian side through diplomatic and military channels.

Regarding the future development, the two foreign ministers agreed that as the situation eases, the two sides should expedite work to conclude new confidence building measures to maintain and enhance peace and tranquility in the border areas. The way ahead for solution is very clear.

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