FM urges India to avoid unilateral actions amid border hype
Published: Jul 15, 2021 12:22 PM
China India Photo: Xinhua

China India Photo: Xinhua

Any unilateral action in sensitive, disputed areas along the China-India border should be restrained as last year's incident was already pulling China-India ties down, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said at a meeting with Indian External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, calling on more negotiations to solve possible incidents.

Wang said that the two countries should refrain from taking any unilateral action in sensitive, disputed areas to avoid misunderstanding and misjudgment that can lead to a repeat of what happened last year.

It is clear that the responsibility of the border issue last year does not lie with China. China is willing to negotiate with India to seek a solution acceptable to both countries, Wang told Jaishankar during a Wednesday meeting on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization foreign ministers' meeting held in Dushanbe, capital of Tajikistan.

To prevent border issues from further posing unnecessary interference in bilateral relations, which is already in a downturn, Wang said both sides should alter the work mechanism for border incidents from emergency responses to normalized management.

Prior to the high-level meeting, Indian media The Telegraph hyped the border tension, alleging "China builds concrete towers with CCTV cameras to watch India" and that the Indian Army has "in a 'tit for tat' put up wooden poles fitted with digital cameras to watch Chinese movements."

However, the Global Times learned from a source that the use of monitoring equipment to ensure the effective implementation of disengagement-related agreements is a consensus reached between China and India. The towers shouldn't be of any "concern." After India and China reached an agreement on disengagement, Indian media has  occasionally played up China's actions in the border area.

The two militaries have disengaged in the Galwan Valley and the Pangong Lake areas and the border situation has eased since the meeting between the foreign ministers of the two countries in Moscow in September 2020. But China-India relations are still in bad shape, which is not in the interest of any country, Wang said. 

The essence of China-India relations is how two large neighboring, developing countries view each other, how they can live in harmony, and how they can help each other, Wang said, adding that China's strategic judgment on China-India relations remains unchanged. 

The interactions between the two countries should mainly be led by cooperation, mutual benefit, and complementarities with healthy competition, and avoid confrontation, Wang said. 

Jaishankar agreed with Wang on bilateral ties, saying India doesn't and hopefully won't change its strategic judgment over bilateral ties and is willing to work with China to prompt bilateral relationship out of the downturn.