China has urged India to “maintain dialogue to properly manage differences” during a meeting between top diplomats of the two nations in the Indian capital of New Delhi.
Qin Gang and his Indian counterpart Subrahmanyam Jaishankar met on the sidelines of the G-20 Foreign Ministers meeting on Thursday and “agreed” to promote the improvement of China-India relations, according to a statement released by China’s Foreign Ministry on Friday.
“The two sides should view their relations under the background of the Global changes unseen in a century, carry out bilateral cooperation in view of national rejuvenation and go hand in hand on the road to modernization,” Qin told Jaishankar, according to the statement.
It was Qin and Jaishankar’s first meeting since the former was appointed China’s foreign minister in last December.
Pointing to the border dispute between the two Asian neighbors, Qin stressed that the issue should be “put in an appropriate position in bilateral relations and both sides should strive to switch from emergency response to normalized management and control on the border.”
“China is willing to work with India to speed up the recovery of bilateral exchanges and cooperation in various fields and resume direct flights as soon as possible to facilitate personnel exchanges.
“The two sides should maintain dialogue to properly manage differences, and promote the improvement and steady growth of bilateral relations as soon as possible,” Qin said.
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Since May 2020, the two countries have been locked in a standoff along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) — the de facto border between China and India in the region of Ladakh, part of disputed Jammu and Kashmir.
In June 2020, at least 20 Indian and four Chinese soldiers were killed in a border clash.
While the tensions at the border eased after several rounds of talks between the two sides, Indian Army Chief General Manoj Pande said in January this year that the situation was stable but “unpredictable.”
Despite border tensions, bilateral trade between the two nations rose to $135.98 billion last year.
“China and India boast broad common interests in fields of safeguarding the rights and interests of developing countries, promoting South-South cooperation and addressing Global challenges such as climate change,” said the Chinese foreign minister, expressing support for New Delhi during its ongoing one-year term of G-20 presidency.
According to China’s Foreign Ministry statement, Jaishankar said both sides “have had and will continue to achieve positive results in areas including economic and trade cooperation, people-to-people and cultural exchanges.”
“The Indian side agrees that bilateral relations should be viewed and improved from a historical and strategic perspective, and more cooperation platforms should be built to push India-China relations forward along the right track,” the Indian top diplomat said, adding that the border situation between the two countries “is gradually stabilizing, and both sides should work together to maintain peace and tranquility in the border areas.”
Later at a news conference, Jaishankar said: “The bulk of our conversation understandably was about the current state of our relationship, which many of you have heard me describe as abnormal, and I think those were among the adjectives that I used in that meeting.”
“There are real problems in that relationship that need to be looked at, that need to be discussed very openly and candidly between us. That’s what we sought to do today,” the Indian foreign minister said about bilateral relations with China.
Originally published at tribune.com.pk