Chinese, Indian leaders’ SCO speeches reflect consensus to deal with border disputes
Published: Nov 10, 2020 11:43 PM

China-India Photo: Global Times

The speeches of Chinese and Indian leaders on neighborhood and sovereignty at the 20th meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) on Tuesday, which focused on cooperation and mutual respect, reinforce the consensus reached by the top leaders of both countries in dealing with border disputes, Chinese analysts said. 

While delivering a keynote speech via video link at the SCO Summit, Chinese President Xi Jinping stressed that history has proven and will continue to prove that good-neighborliness will prevail over a beggar-thy-neighbor approach, mutually beneficial cooperation will replace zero-sum game, and multilateralism will win over unilateralism, the Xinhua News Agency reported. 

Chinese experts said that President Xi's speech shows China's consistent stance on cooperation and multilateralism. 

When addressing the SCO Summit on Tuesday, Modi said that India believes that to enhance connectivity, it is important that "we move forward while respecting each other's sovereignty and territorial integrity," according to the Times of India.

Ahead of Modi's speech, Indian media had paid close attention to the Indian leader's attendance at the summit, noting that this is the first "face-to-face" meeting between Chinese and Indian leaders after the ties "hit rock bottom" especially on the border standoff along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) since May. 

Some Indian media, including India Today, interpreted Modi's remarks as a "stern" message to China and Pakistan, despite the fact that Modi himself expressed pity of seeing attempts to bring bilateral issues into the SCO agenda. 

Modi showed maturity on border disputes with China, Qian Feng, director of the research department at the National Strategy Institute at Tsinghua University, told the Global Times. 

It is a consensus reached by top leaders of China and India to solve the border issues, promote disengagements at the LAC front and avoid escalating the current standoff. Although the previous 8th round of Corps Commander-level talks yielded fewer results, the two sides are still working to implement the consensus, and would finally find a solution in the coming 9th and other talks, Qian said. 

Qian also warned that as China has shown kindness and friendlessness in interpreting messages from the Modi government, it should also be alert to India's two-face attitude toward China. For example, it's swinging closer to the US on military cooperation while hoping to avoid clashes with China on borders.

"Even if the border disputes have been solved, there is a long way for China and India to fix and further enhance trust," Qian said. 

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