Sino-India ties developing with ‘sound momentum’: China

Beijing: China said today its relations with India are developing with a “sound momentum” and the two sides have made new achievements as they made efforts to reset their ties with major high-level visits post-Dokalam.

Foreign Ministry Spokesman Lu Kang, however, parried questions over India cancelling some events of the Dalai Lama.

“Recently, thanks to concerted efforts by the two sides, China-India relations have been developing with a sound momentum. We have seen some new achievements in our cooperation in various fields,” Lu told a media briefing here.

He was replying to a question whether China welcomes recent efforts by India to improve ties with China including cancellation of some events by the Dalai Lama.

He also skirted a direct response about the likely visit of National Security Advisor Ajit Doval to China.

“For us, we attach importance to development of ties with India,” Lu said.

“We would like to work with India under the guidance of our two leaders to maintain our exchanges at all levels, enhance mutual trust, manage our differences and ensure bilateral relations can move forward along the right track,” he said.

Separately, the Chinese Defence Ministry, which is bracing for the visit of Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to China, said that developing military-to-military ties is an “important step” in the progress of bilateral relations.

Asked about Sitharaman’s upcoming visit, Chinese Defence spokesman Col Ren Guoqiang told a media briefing today that “the military-to-military relationship between India and China is an integral part of the state-to-state relationship”.

“China and India, we hope can work together to deepen our mutually beneficial cooperation. To develop the military-to- military relationship is an important step to implement the consensus reached by the two heads of the state,” he said, stressing the significance of the defence ties.

“We hope to see a sound interaction between the two militaries,” he said, adding that programme for Sitharaman’s visit is still being chalked out.

Sitharaman said recently that she plans to visit China next month.

In recent months, India and China have made efforts to reset their ties damaged by the 73-day long standoff at Dokalam over Chinese military’s push to build a road close to India’s Chicken Neck corridor.

The area of the standoff is also claimed by Bhutan.

The standoff ended on August 28 after People’s Liberation Army (PLA) agreed to stop the road building but continued its build-up of troops and infrastructure in the vicinity while continuing to assert that Dokalam belongs to it.

While Chinese Commerce Minister Zhong Shan visited India recently, a number of top Indian officials including External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj were expected to visit China in the next few weeks to take part in the events connected with June summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) to be held in Chinese city of Qingdao.

Indian Ambassador to China Gautam Bambawale recently said in a media interview that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to take part in the summit and will “definitely” meet and hold talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping.


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