BEIJING: Chinese Foreign Ministry’s spokesperson Lu Kang on Monday said the Indian army chief’s negative remarks about China and the Donglong border area were against the consensus reached between the two countries.
“Unconstructive remarks by the senior Indian official not only go against the consensus reached between the two heads of state, they also do not conform to the efforts made by the two sides to improve and develop bilateral relations,” spokesperson Lu Kang said during his regular press briefing.
According to the Indian media, on January 12, Indian army chief General Bipin Rawat said at a press conference that China is a powerful country, but India is not a weak nation, and that India should shift its military focus to the northern border. He had said that the Dong Lang area doesn’t belong to India and that Indian soldiers did cross into foreign territory during the standoff.
Kang said that the Indian army chief’s remarks will not help to preserve the peace and stability of the border areas.
He asked the Indian military to learn lessons, abide by the historical conventions between the two countries, and earnestly uphold peace and stability of the border area, in addition to creating a sound atmosphere for the positive development of bilateral relations between the two countries.
Lu Kang remarked that China-India relations had witnessed some twists and turns in the past one year and said in the BRICS leaders’ summit meeting in last September, the two heads of state had reached some important consensus to properly handle the differences and promote bilateral relations back to the track of sound and steady development.
Recently, the two sides had enhanced dialogue and consultations and the bilateral relations had shown sound momentum of improvement and development, he added.
Terming China and India as important neighbours, he observed that both the countries were at the critical stage of national development and rejuvenation.
“The two countries should enhance strategic communication, eliminate strategic doubts and conduct strategic cooperation,” he added.
Kang urged the Indian side to follow the important consensus reached between the leaders of the two countries and do more things to preserve peace and stability on the border areas and refrain from doing things that may complicate the situation.
He also called upon India to constructively handle the relevant affairs and promote sound and steady development of the bilateral relations.
“This is in common interest of the whole region and also serves the interest of Indian side,” said Lu Kang.
The spokesperson also pointed out that the remarks of the Indian army chief once again showed that the illegal trespass of the Indian border troops was clear-cut in nature.
He, however, made it clear that the Donglong area belongs to China and Sikkim section of the China-India boundary had been delaminated by a historical convention.
“Donglong is China’s territory and China will continue to exercise its sovereignty rights in Donglong area in accordance with historical conventions and steadfastly uphold its territorial sovereignty,” he added.
“As I said just now, we hope India can learn from it and avoid the recurrence of some incidents that took place last year,” he added.
He said the relations between the two sides had also shown signs of improvement in overall development for some time.
“I believe everybody can feel that against this background, the remark made by the top Indian military official is inconsistent with the spirit of the important consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries and the current efforts of both China and India to improve the general trend of the relations between the two parties and the promotion of strategic cooperation is also incompatible,” he added.
“We believe such remarks are not conducive to the joint efforts of the two countries to maintain peace and stability across the border and to India itself,” he concluded.