Attempting to clear the air over incursions that dogged President Xi Jinping’s India visit, China on Friday said differences over the disputed border should be handled in a way that does not impact peace and development in bilateral ties.
Tension along the disputed border in Ladakh flared days before Xi landed in India and continued to cast a shadow over the visit which was expected to be an exercise in bilateral bonhomie.
In the end, several reports in the Indian media put up question marks on the intention of China to engineer incursions during the highest level Sino-India bilateral visit this year.
But the Chinese foreign ministry tried to play down the impact and said Xi and Prime Minister Narendra Modi had discussed the issue and reached a consensus of maintaining peace along the border.
“Leaders of the two countries reached important consensus on properly handling the border issue. President Xi said that on border issues the two sides should continue with friendly cooperation and pursue it equitable and fair way that is acceptable by both countries,” spokesperson, Hong Lei, said at the regular press briefing on Friday.
“Before the final settlement the two tow sides should control and manage disputes and maintain peace and tranquility in border areas so that it will not influence peace and development of bilateral ties,” he added.
Hong said India had agreed to work China to properly handle and find a way to resolve the border issue.
The two leaders, he said, have “pointed a way out for solving the problem”..
“The leaders of the two countries reached important consensus on importance of bilateral relations as well as further development. We also reached consensus on properly managing border issues,” Hong said.
“They agreed to respect and accommodate each other’s concerns and deepen mutual trust.”
On the issue of Tibet, Hong said: “Prime Minister Modi said that Tibet is an integral part of China and India does not allow any separatist activities in India.”
On the 21st century Maritime Silk Road, Hong said Xi’s proposal was aimed at pursuing common development with neighbouring countries including South Asian countries
Hong added that both India and Pakistan were welcome to become members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.