Chinese Ambassador to India, Sun Weidong on Friday in a detailed statement on India-China border issue said that Beijing and New Delhi should be partners rather than rivals.

This comes in the backdrop of India cutting its import dependence on China by half in the last financial year and also banning 59 Chinese apps including TikTok in a diplomatic response to the unprecedented Galwan valley clash on June 15.

In the statement titled “Implement consensus and handle differences properly to bring China-India relations back on the right track”, the envoy said the boundary question left over by history, is “sensitive and complicated” and added that the two countries “need to find a fair and reasonable solution mutually acceptable through equal consultation and peaceful negotiation.”

Weidong released a video message talking about the recent standoff between the two countries in Galwan region in eastern Ladakh.

The Ambassador said that the June 15 violent clash in Galwan Valley, which caused casualties on both sides, was not seen as coming by either China, or India.

Weidong also said that Chinese frontline troops were disengaging from the ground in accordance with the consensus reached.

On July 5, China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi and India’s National Security Advisor Ajit Doval had talked over the phone and reached a positive consensus on easing the border tension.

The Ambassador added that some quarters in India have raised doubts about the consensus reached by the leaders and have a wrong perception about China-India ties.

These have brought disruptions in the bilateral relations. “In this regard, it is imperative for us to clarify some fundamental points,” he said.

Asserting that China and India should be partners, rather than rival, the envoy pointed out that the two nations have a history of friendly exchanges for more than 2000 years while adding that friendly cooperation has dominated most of the time.

“For both China and India, achieving development and revitalization is the top priority where we share long-term strategic interests,” he said.

The Ambassador pointed out that he has noticed some emerging opinions in recent days, which repudiate the essence of China-India relationship due to the border-related incidents, make false assumptions about China’s intentions, exaggerate conflicts and provoke confrontation.

He said, “It is not the fact. It is harmful indeed and not helpful. China and India have jointly advocated the five principals of peaceful coexistence and uphold independent foreign policies. We should naturally see each other as positive factor in the changing global landscape and as well as partners in realising our respective dream of development.”

The Chinese Ambassador to India further said that the two countries “need peace rather than confrontation”.

Asserting that cooperation benefits both while confrontation serves neither, Sun Weidong said the two countries should not allow differences to interfere with bilateral relations.

He added that since the boundary question has been left by history, it is now necessary to find a fair and reasonable solution that is acceptable to both countries through consultation and negotiations.

“In the absence of an ultimate solution, both the countries agreed to maintain peace and tranquility in the border areas,” he said.

The Ambassador pointed out that for China, peace was of paramount importance.

Thirdly, the Chinese envoy stated that Beijing and New Delhi “need to pursue win-win cooperation instead of zero-sum game.”

Stating that China and India are two largest developing countries and emeging economies, he said “Development is our common goal”. He added that now both the nations are facing the common enemy COVID-19, we should “fight side by side in the same trench”.

The statement came on a day when India and China resolved to ensure complete disengagement of troops along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and de-escalation from India-China border areas for full restoration of peace and tranquility between them in accordance with bilateral agreements and protocols.

The reaffirmation came at the 16th meeting of the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination (WMCC) on border affairs (WMCC) held Friday afternoon. The Indian delegation was led by Naveen Srivastava, Joint Secretary (East Asia) in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), while the Director General of the Boundary and Oceanic Department of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs led his country’s delegation.

The two sides recalled the agreement reached between the two foreign ministers on 17 June as well as the agreement between two Special Representatives (SRs) during their telephonic conversation on 5 July.

The two sides also agreed that for the overall development of bilateral relations it was essential to maintain enduring peace and tranquility in the border areas, the MEA said in a statement.

The two sides also agreed to maintain the ongoing communication both at the diplomatic and military level to ensure early resolution of the situation. In this context, they agreed to hold another meeting of the WMCC in the near future.