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After Doklam snub by China, India says peace along border essential prerequisite for smooth ties

Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi had told his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj that “lessons should be learnt” from the Doklam standoff so that such incidents are not repeated.

india Updated: Dec 13, 2017 21:09 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
India-China relations,Doklam standoff,foreign minister Wang Yi
Foreign minister Sushma Swaraj shakes hands with her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi before their delegation level meeting in New Delhi, Monday.(AP Photo)

India on Wednesday responded to Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi’s remarks that the Doklam standoff put “severe pressure” on bilateral relations by saying that the two sides should consider each other’s concerns while dealing with differences.

According to a statement issued by the Chinese foreign ministry on Tuesday, Wang had told his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj in unusually blunt remarks that “lessons should be learnt” from the standoff so that such incidents are not repeated. Wang was also quoted as saying that bilateral ties during 2017 were “not very satisfactory”.

A statement issued by the external affairs ministry on Wednesday acknowledged the Doklam issue had figured in talks between Swaraj and Wang on Monday and both leaders had “noted the challenge it had posed to the relationship” and “expressed satisfaction that it was resolved with the disengagement of troops at the face-off site through concerted diplomatic communications”.

The statement said Swaraj EAM had underlined the need to approach differences between the two sides “with due consideration to each other’s sensitivities and concerns”.

She recalled the consensus between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping when they met on the margins of the SCO summit in Astana earlier this year “on the need to work together to ensure that our differences do not become disputes”.

“...The external affairs minister reiterated that the maintenance of peace and tranquillity in the border areas is an essential pre-requisite for the smooth development of bilateral relations,” external affairs ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said.

The statement quoted Wang as saying that the peaceful resolution of the Doklam issue reflected the “political maturity on both sides”. While agreeing with this, Swaraj reiterated that maintenance of peace and tranquillity in the border areas is an “essential prerequisite for the smooth development of bilateral relations”.

Wang also said India and China share the “same objectives of national development and should be natural partners”. The two foreign ministers agreed to strengthen strategic communication at all levels, including between them, through the established dialogue mechanisms.”

First Published: Dec 13, 2017 18:45 IST