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Wang Yi Speaks with Indian Foreign Minister Jaishankar on the Phone

2021/02/26

State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi talked on the phone with Minister for External Affairs of India Subrahmanyam Jaishankar on 25 February.

Wang Yi noted that what had led to the situation last year at the China-India boundary was clear and that lessons from the past deserve deep contemplation. There has been some wavering and backpedaling in India's China policy, and practical cooperation between the two countries has been affected. This does not serve the interests of either side. Decades of experiences have shown repeatedly that heightening differences does not help solve problems, and that it only erodes the basis of mutual trust.

Wang said that the frontline troops of the two countries have recently completed disengagement in the Pangong Lake areas. The situation on the ground has been noticeably eased. It is imperative for the two sides to cherish the hard-won relaxation, and work together to consolidate the progress, keep up the consultation momentum, further ease the situation, and improve the border management and control mechanisms. The two sides also need to advance the boundary talks to build up mutual trust and realize peace and tranquility in the border areas.

Wang pointed out that both China and India are ancient civilizations and major emerging economies. While both being at a crucial, historical stage of development and rejuvenation, they should help and facilitate each other. A negative trajectory of bilateral relations will incur unnecessary costs and losses on both. The two sides need to commit to the strategic consensus reached between their leaders, stay on the right path toward mutual trust and cooperation between big neighbours, and never take the wrong path of mutual misgivings and suspicion, still less the path of retrogression. They should handle the boundary question properly to prevent the bilateral relationship from sinking into a negative cycle. While that the two countries have boundary disputes is an objective fact, which should be taken seriously, it is not the whole of China-India relations, and it should be put at a proper place in the overall bilateral relations. As two big emerging economies, China and India need to pursue development alongside each other, move forward in partnership instead of hindrance, and work together for shared progress rather than erecting walls against each other. They can begin from easier things and proceed incrementally so as to build up enabling conditions for a better relationship and greater practical cooperation between them.

Minister Jaishankar said that the recent disengagement in the Pangong Lake areas was an important follow-through action of the consensus that he and State Councilor Wang Yi reached in Moscow. India wants more dialogue and consultation with China to realize quick disengagement at the remaining points to further de-escalate the situation at the boundary and maintain peace and tranquility in the border areas. The Indian side, having in mind the long-term development and larger picture of bilateral relations, is ready to act on the important understandings between the leaders of both countries for the bilateral relationship to get back on track at an early date.

The two foreign ministers agreed to set up a hotline for timely communication and exchange of views.

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