Chinese Ambassador to India Sun Weidong

The two (India, China) sides should engage in dialogue on an equal footing, manage differences and find solutions through consultation. We should not allow differences to become disputes

The boundary dispute between India and China is a reality and should be given sufficient attention and taken seriously, Chinese Ambassador Sun Weidong has said while observing that the two countries should not interfere in each other’s internal affairs.

“The boundary question is not the whole story of China- India relations and should be put at a proper place in the overall bilateral relations,” he said addressing a dialogue co-hosted by the Chinese People’s Institute of Foreign Affairs (CPIFA) and the Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA).

He said the two sides should engage in dialogue on an equal footing, manage differences and find solutions through consultation. ”We should not allow differences to become disputes.”

The Chinese envoy noted that what happened over the past few decades has proven once again that highlighting differences would not help resolve problems. Rather, it would erode the foundation of mutual trust. Sun said the border incident at Eastern Ladakh last year was something that neither side would like to see happen again.

China, he said, has been committed to resolving the border issue and easing the situation through dialogue and consultation. The two sides have maintained communication through diplomatic and military channels. He noted that the frontline troops of the two countries have disengaged in the Pangong Tso Lake. Going forward, the two sides should implement the consensus reached by the two leaders of the two countries, strictly abide by a series of agreements reached between the two sides, strengthen dialogue and communication, improve the management and control mechanism, sustain the current momentum of de-escalation, and avoid relapse of the situation on the ground. Sun said the unprecedented pandemic has accelerated the profound changes unseen in a century.

”Humanity is a community with a shared future. We must work together to address global challenges. China and India need to practice true multilateralism, abide by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, and uphold the international system with the United Nations at its core and an international order based on international law.”

He said the two countries should adhere to the five principles of peaceful coexistence, respect each other’s social system and development path, respect each other’s core interests and major concerns, and respect each other’s legitimate rights to development.

”We should never interfere in each other’s internal affairs. It is imperative to uphold independence, oppose hegemonism and power politics in any form, and reject zero-sum game and the Cold War mentality.”

Sun said the two nations need to work together to build a big community of “universal peace”. In an obvious reference to the ”Quad” grouping of India, Japan, Australia and the US, he said the two nations should reject “small circles” of closeness and exclusion targeting other countries.