China, India agree on plan to disengage in border area

China Daily
Huang Panyue
2020-09-12 16:17:29

\State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Indian External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar greet reporters before their talks in Moscow on Thursday. [Photo/Xinhua]

Border troops of China and India should continue their talks, disengage as soon as possible and maintain a necessary distance, the foreign ministers of the two countries said in a joint news release.

The current situation in the border area is not in line with the interests of either country, and both countries should observe their agreements and rules on border issues and avoid any moves that may escalate tensions, the release stated.

They need to follow consensuses between their leaders, including not letting their differences turn into disputes, the foreign ministers also said, adding that both sides agreed to continue communications through meetings of special representatives on China-India border issues. The ministers also agreed the nations should speed up the building of trust and consolidate peace in the border area as tensions ease.

The consensus was reached at a meeting between State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Indian External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization foreign ministers meeting in Moscow on Thursday.

Wang expressed China's position in the current situation in the border area, and said the top priority is to immediately stop firing shots and other dangerous behavior that violates the commitments made, withdraw all personnel and equipment that have trespassed and disengage as soon as possible.

China supports border troops of both sides strengthening talks to solve issues and hopes to keep communicating with India via diplomatic and military channels to restore peace in the area, Wang said.

It's normal for China and India to have differences, but the two neighbors should adhere to the strategic consensus reached by their leaders that the countries are not rivals or a threat to each other, but partners and opportunities for each other's development, he added. As major developing and rapidly emerging nations, China and India need cooperation and mutual trust instead of confrontation and doubts, he said.

Jaishankar said India doesn't want to see tensions rise in the border area, and its policy toward China has not changed. India doesn't believe that the development of ties with China depends on the settlement of border issues, and hopes to reduce tensions through talks, he said.

The meeting between Wang and Jaishankar came days after the two countries' defense ministers met in Moscow to discuss border issues.

Tensions in the border area between the two countries have escalated since mid-June, when their border troops engaged in physical conflicts as a result of trespassing Indian troops' attacks on Chinese soldiers.

Following the conflicts, the two countries' foreign ministers spoke by phone, and their border troops held a commander-level meeting to manage tensions.

Lan Jianxue, deputy director of the Department for Asia-Pacific Studies of the China Institute of International Studies, said the two countries, especially India, should work to turn their words of consensus into concrete actions in the border area.

India needs to show sufficient good faith and work together with China to maintain peace in the area, and refrain from "dangerous" attempts to change unilaterally the rules over border issues as stipulated in bilateral agreements, Lan said.

Also on Thursday, the foreign ministers of China, India and Russia met in Moscow.


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