–By Gaurav Sharma
Beijing, Dec 12: At his meeting with Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that the military stand-off in Doklam had put a “severe” strain on bilateral ties.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry on Tuesday released a statement detailing what Wang told Sushma Swaraj during their bilateral meet in New Delhi where the Chinese leader attended the Russia, India and China trilateral meet.
According to the statement, Wang also said that lessons should be learned from Doklam crisis so that it does not happen again even though the crisis was resolved peacefully.
“The viciousness caused by the cross-border infiltration of the Indian border guards put bilateral relations under severe pressure.
“The matter was finally settled peacefully through diplomatic means, reflecting the maturing of bilateral relations. However, lessons should be learned and (it) should not happen again,” Wang was quoted as saying.
“In 2017, relations between China and India have maintained their momentum of development as a whole. Both sides have made efforts in this regard, but they are not very satisfactory,” the Foreign Minister said.
The armies of both countries were locked in a 73-day stand-off at Doklam in the Sikkim section of Sino-Indian border over the building of a road by the Chinese military in the area that is claimed by Bhutan.
Indian troops stalled the work citing the disputed status of Doklam and its proximity to its key artery in the northeast. The crisis was resolved on August 28 after both the armies retreated from the point of the face-off.
It was Wang’s first visit to India since the Doklam crisis.
“The leaders of the two countries pointed out that both China and India should regard each other as partners rather than adversaries.”
Wang said that Sino-India relations were at a crucial period and the most important thing between them should be to cultivate mutual trust.
“With mutual trust, the specific problems are expected to be resolved on the basis of mutual understanding and mutual accommodation.
“Without mutual trust, individual problems will continue to overflow and erode the overall situation of bilateral relations.
“To this end, both sides should strengthen strategic communication at all levels, restore the established dialogue mechanism, deepen pragmatic cooperation in various fields and at the same time control the existing differences and safeguard peace and tranquility in the border areas.
“If China and India speak with one voice, the world will listen. I hope this day will come soon,” Wang was quoted as saying.