Differences shouldn’t turn into disputes; India, China set tone | India News

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Jun 6, 2020

Ahead of the crucial military talks to resolve the border standoff, India and China together reiterated Friday that they should not allow their differences to turn into disputes.
Importantly for India, the talks seemed to set the right tone for the meeting of the army commanders with the 2 countries underlining the significance of respecting each other’s “concerns, sensitivities and aspirations” while handling their differences.
After a meeting between the Indian and Chinese foreign ministry officials through a video conference, China said in a statement that the 2 countries should acknowledge that, under the leadership of President Xi Jinping and PM Narendra Modi, they were not a threat to each other and that they should see each other as an opportunity for development.
In saying so, Beijing echoed the remarks made by its ambassador Sun Weidong here earlier in what looked like an attempt to reach out to India in the middle of the LAC strife. Like Sun, China said in the statement that looking at each other in the right way will enhance strategic mutual trust, deepen mutually beneficial cooperation, and properly manage differences.
“They agreed that the two sides should follow the strategic guidance of the two leaders, put into action that China & India pose no threat to each other & represent development opportunities for each other, & differences should not be turned into disputes,” tweeted Sun after the meeting on Friday.
The mention of strategic guidance is a throwback to the 2018 Wuhan summit where Xi and Modi issued strategic guidance to their respective militaries to strengthen communication in order to build trust and mutual understanding and “enhance predictability and effectiveness in the management of border affairs”.
In the first senior-level meeting since the latest standoff started, the 2 countries reviewed bilateral relations including the “current developments”.
In this context, MEA said, they recalled the consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries, that peaceful, stable and balanced relations between India and China will be a positive factor for stability in the current global situation.
“Both sides also agreed that in accordance with the guidance provided by the leadership, the two sides should handle their differences through peaceful discussion bearing in mind the importance of respecting each other’s sensitivities, concerns and aspirations and not allow them to become disputes,” it added.
The two sides also exchanged views on the challenge posed by the Covid-19 pandemic and cooperation in various multilateral forums, said the government.
“They also agreed that China and India should deepen cooperation on fight against Covid epidemic, support the WHO resolutely, uphold and promote multilateralism & safeguard common interests of developing countries,” tweeted the ambassador.
China went on to say that the “giant ship” of Sino-Indian relations was moving in the right direction. It also called for the two countries to deepen anti-epidemic cooperation, oppose “politicizing the epidemic situation” , support the World Health Organization, and promote the construction of a public health system. It further called for the 2 countries to “resolutely safeguard and promote multilateralism, oppose unilateralism, protectionism and hegemony, jointly safeguard international fairness and justice, and safeguard the common interests of developing countries”.
The Indian and Chinese delegations in the talks Friday were led respectively by Naveen Srivastava, Joint Secretary (East Asia) and Wu Jianghao, Director General in the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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