China is firm on upholding its sovereign interests and territorial integrity, but at the same time values friendship with India, the county’s foreign minister has said.The Doklam (Donglang) standoff between the border troops of the two countries was handled with restraint by China, Wang Yi said, adding it reflected Beijing’s emphasis on bilateral ties.
Wang wrote on China’s foreign policy in the prestigious Chinese International Studies Journal last month, in which he touched upon the status of relations with India. The journal is published by China Institute of International Studies, a think-tank attached to the foreign ministry.
“We handled the Indian border troops trespass into China’s Dong Long area in our national interest, on just grounds and with restraint. Through diplomatic means, we engaged with the Indian side and it withdrew its equipment and personnel,” Wang said.
“This demonstrates not only the value and emphasis we put on relations with India but also our sincerity and sense of responsibility in maintaining regional peace and stability,” he said.
“We believe as we continue to engage in in-depth strategic communication and promptly dispel strategic misgivings, the strategic value of China-India cooperation will speak for itself and there will be a prospect of ‘the Dragon and Elephant dancing together’ and 1+1=11 effect as expected by the leaders,” Wang said.
“We are each other’s big neighbours and ancient civilisations,” he said, while adding that Beijing is firm on upholding its sovereign rights and territorial integrity.
During his visiting to New Delhi in December, Wang had said the two countries should “boost strategic communication and trust, and should properly handle problems left over by history and some specific issues in bilateral relations, without politicising and complicating them to hamper the development of the Sino-Indian relations.”
In a statement released by the Chinese foreign ministry, Wang said: “…in 2017, the relations between China and India have maintained their momentum of development as a whole. Both sides have made efforts in this regard. But they (the efforts) were not very satisfactory”.
The MFA statement quoting Wang’s interaction with Indian external affairs minister, Sushsma Swaraj was unusually blunt and it was released after the Chinese foreign minister met her in New Delhi.