India reiterated that maintenance of peace and tranquility in border areas is an essential basis for the development of India-China relations.
Speaking at the Seventh ICWA (Indian Council of World Affairs)-CPIFA (Chinese People's Institute of Foreign Affairs) virtual dialogue, Indian Ambassador to China Vikram Misri said, "Maintenance of peace and tranquility in border areas is essential basis for the development of bilateral relationship."
"He underlined that there needed to be respect for mutual concerns and sensitivities and for each other's priorities," the Indian Consulate tweeted.
Indian and Chinese troops are locked in a prolonged standoff in eastern Ladakh since May last year. Soldiers from both sides completed withdrawal of troops and weapons from the North and South banks of Pangong lake in February. But the disengagement has not taken place yet from various other areas in eastern Ladakh.
"We must acknowledge that these enabling structures and the fundamental premise of the closer developmental partnership have been placed under considerable strain by the serious incidents and the resultant violation of peace and tranquility at the Line of Actual Control in Eastern Ladakh in April 2020 and thereafter," said Misri.
He also advised that the problem should not be sweeped inside a carpet. "We have also seen a tendency in some quarters to sweep this situation under the carpet and characterize it as just a minor issue and a matter of perspective. This too is inadvisable as it can only take us further away from a sustained solution to present difficulties and deeper into an unfulfilling stalemate. In fact, it would be tantamount to running away from the problem and in a direction opposite to that where the promise of our closer development partnership lies," said the Indian envoy.
The Director General of ICWA TCA Raghavan, President of CPIFA Wang Chao, Chinese Ambassador to India Sun Weidong besides Misri took part in the dialogue.
At the ICWA-CPIFA Dialogue, scholars from both sides discussed working together for a development agenda of mutual interest and jointly coping with the challenges of the changing international structure in the post-pandemic era.
"At the same time, it is also important to recognize that in a post-pandemic world of altered equations, multipolarity is probably more important than ever, both in the Indo-Pacific and beyond. In a multipolar world, no country can set the agenda by itself without prior agreement and consultation, and then expect everyone else to come on board. No single country can expect a discussion to focus only on issues of its own interest while ignoring those raised or reflected by others. And no country should imagine that it has sole control over the narrative about a relationship or its actual course," said Misri.
Further, the Indian envoy stressed on 21st century as the 'Asian centuary', he said, "When we speak of a development agenda, it is useful to remember that as recently as May 2020, which is less than a year ago, seeking a closer developmental partnership for the 21st century had been the keynote of the India-China relationship. As two similarly-situated large countries and ancient civilizations with populations of over a billion, it had seemed self-evident to generations of our leaders that we had much to learn from each other and much to share. Leaders on both sides had spoken publicly of the key roles we had in the making of the Asian Century."
Misri concluded the dialogue with the significance of the current juncture in the evolution of the two countries - the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in China this year, and the 75th anniversary of India's independence next year.
"Our countries have embarked along their respective paths of development and have dedicated themselves to seeking prosperity for their citizens. Both are now situated at a unique juncture in world history as well as bilateral relations. Both will be taking stock in the coming weeks and months of their own achievements and of their respective places in the world thus far, in addition to making plans for the next few decades. We both have much to be proud of, just as we both are conscious of the significant challenges that still confront us," said Misri.
( With inputs from ANI )
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