Time not right to add to tension, says China
Beijing on Friday asked New Delhi to avoid any “strategic miscalculation on China,” and complications of tensions along the India-China border hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Ladakh amid a stand-off between Indian and Chinese troops there.
Modi’s visit to Ladakh came days after 20 Indian soldiers were killed in a clash there with Chinese troops on June 15. Speaking in Ladakh, Modi emphasised the time for expansionism is over. He added India is becoming stronger and its commitment to peace should not be seen as a sign of weakness.
“India and China are in communication and negotiations on lowering the temperatures through military and diplomatic channels. No party should engage in any action that may complicate the situation at this point,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson, Zhao Lijian, said at a regular briefing on Friday.
Modi’s visit is being closely monitored in China as New Delhi begins a calibrated response, including economic measures, to the standoff.
When asked about a possibility of a ban on Chinese companies from building roads in India, Zhao said New Delhi should focus on “common interests in bilateral relations”.
“Certain politicians in India have been issuing remarks that are detrimental to our bilateral relations... Our bilateral relations need to be held with concerted efforts. The Indian side should work with us towards the same goal, to uphold the general picture of our common interests in bilateral relations,” Zhao said.
“Setting artificial blocks to our concrete and practical cooperation will also harm India’s interest. We will take the necessary measures to uphold the legitimate rights of Chinese businesses in India.”
Zhao sidestepped a question about India’s security-related concerns that prompted it to ban 59, mostly Chinese mobile applications, on Monday.
“…we should also be aware that India and China are major developing countries; accelerating the renewal and development are historical missions for both of us. To this end, we have to respect and support each other. This is also in the long-term interest of both sides,” he said.
“If we show misgiving and engage in conflicts, this is not the right way and also goes against the shared aspiration of our people.” He added India and China have to follow the consensus reached between the leaders of the two countries about bilateral relations. “The Indian side should not have strategic miscalculation on China. We hope it will work with China to uphold the overall picture of our bilateral relations.”
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