Beijing: Following the meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the XV BRICS Summit on August 23, 2023, where they reportedly agreed to intensify efforts to deescalate tensions at the disputed border, China today said that the boundary dispute between the two countries “does not represent the entirety of China-India relations”.
While reiterating that China’s position on the China-India boundary question is “consistent and clear”, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson, Wang Wenbin, said, “The boundary question is a historical issue and does not represent the entirety of China-India relations. We should place it appropriately in our bilateral relations and seek a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable settlement through peaceful and friendly consultations”.
Curiously, while Wenbin claimed that the meeting between the two leaders was at India’s request, an Indian government official reportedly denied China’s claim and said that there was a pending request from the Chinese side for a bilateral meeting, which led to the informal conversation.
Wenbin further told reporters that Jinping during the talks stressed that improving China-India relations serves the common interests of the two countries and peoples, and is also conducive to peace, stability and development of the world and the region.
According to him, the two leaders had had a candid and in-depth exchange of views on current China-India relations and other questions of shared interest.
“The two sides should bear in mind the overall interests of their bilateral relations and handle properly the boundary question so as to jointly safeguard peace and tranquility in the border areas,” he said. He though articulated that that before the boundary question is settled, the two sides need to jointly safeguard peace and tranquility in the border areas.
“We hope to work with India to act on the important common understandings between the two leaders, increase strategic mutual trust, focus on our consensus and cooperation, remove disturbances and obstacles and advance the bilateral relations along a sound and stable track,” he said.
– global bihari bureau