Border issue not whole story of China-India relations: Defense Spokesperson

China Military Online
Li Jiayao
2024-01-25 18:20:53

BEIJING, Jan. 25 -- "The boundary dispute is a legacy issue between China and India but it does not represent the whole picture of bilateral relations," said Senior Colonel Wu Qian, spokesperson for China's Ministry of National Defense, at a regular press conference on Thursday.

Spokesperson Wu made the remarks when asked to comment on previous statement of India's External Affairs Minister (EAM) Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, who said that China violated the bilateral consensus in 2020 and assembled large amount of military forces along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), thus triggering the conflict in the Galwan Valley. And he claimed to have made it clear to the Chinese side that unless a solution is found at the border, India-China relations cannot move on normally.

Wu pointed out that firstly the Galwan Valley lies on the Chinese side of the western sector along the LAC. The relevant incident happened only because the Indian side violated bilateral consensus and made unilateral provocations. Therefore, the responsibility lies entirely with the Indian side.

Then he said that over the past three years, China and India have maintained communication and coordination through military and diplomatic channels. Up till now, the two militaries have had 20 rounds of Corps Commander Level Meetings, and agreed to disengage at four points, namely the Galwan Valley, the Pangong Lake, Hot Springs, and Jianan Daban, contributing to the de-escalation of tensions along the border, he added.

"It is unwise and inappropriate for the Indian side to link the boundary issue with the overall relations. This approach is against the shared interests of the two countries," he stressed. "We hope the Indian side can work with the Chinese side towards the same goal, enhance strategic mutual trust, properly handle differences, and safeguard peace and tranquility in the border areas." As for the next Corps Commander Level Meeting, the spokesperson said that they will release information in due course.

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