New Delhi: China has said that positive effects of the second informal summit between President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Narendra Modi are gradually showing and it is keen to promote defence and security cooperation with India for regional peace and stability.
Chinese Ambassador Sun Weidong, in a interview to PTI, also said that discussions were underway between the two sides to operationalise a high-level economic and trade dialogue mechanism to further boost bilateral trade and investment as decided by Modi and Xi.
The envoy said China understands and respects India’s decision on Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and is willing to work with all stakeholders to resolve the issues raised by New Delhi.
On Kashmir, the envoy said China’s position on the issue is “consistent and clear” and added that development is “out of question” without a peaceful and stable environment.
“The positive effects of the second informal summit between Chinese and Indian leaders are gradually showing, and the bilateral relations are enjoying sound and steady development,” Sun said.
Military sources said there has been greater coordination between militaries of the two countries along the nearly 3,500 km border in the last few months.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi is scheduled to visit India later this month to hold boundary talks and review implementation of key decisions taken at the Modi-Xi informal summit in Mamallapuram in October.
The significant outcome of the second informal summit included setting up of a new high-level mechanism to boost trade and investment, enhance defence and security cooperation and work on additional confidence building measures.
“As the only two major developing countries with a population of over one billion and two important emerging economies, China-India relations transcend the bilateral dimension and assume global and strategic significance,” the envoy said.
“Both China and India have their own dreams of becoming a great nation. China is on track to achieve the ‘two centenary goals’, while India puts forward the vision of building a ‘new India’,” he said.
Sun said both the countries should see their respective development and growth as important opportunities for each other and help to “light up”. “It will not only inject strong impetus into the respective developments of the two countries, but also add stability and positive energy to the world.”
Referring to Kashmir, he said China maintains that all parties should resolve differences peacefully through dialogue and avoid any “unilateral actions” that may “complicate” the situation.
“China is willing to work with all parties including India to jointly safeguard regional peace and stability, promote win-win cooperation in the region and make positive contributions to regional development and security,” he added.
Referring to the ongoing joint military exercise between the armies of the two nations, he said:”China is willing to promote defence and security cooperation with India to enhance mutual understanding and trust.”
On the Modi-Xi summit in Mamallapuram, he said it yielded fruitful outcomes, including the establishment of a high-level economic and trade dialogue mechanism.
“It shows that China attaches great importance to the development of China-India economic and trade relations. It is also a positive step taken by China to ease trade imbalance between the two countries and strengthen practical cooperation in trade and investment,” he said.
About the boundary issue, Sun said the special representatives of China and India will continue talks based on political parameters and guiding principles reached in 2005 with an aim to seek a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable solution.
“Prior to this, the two sides will continue to properly handle and manage border related incidents through a multi-tiered mechanism, jointly maintain peace and tranquility in border areas, and continue to promote more confidence-building measures,” he said.
The two sides have already held over 20 rounds of talks under the framework of SR (special representatives) dialogue which was set up to find an early solution to the border dispute.
The India-China border dispute covers 3,488-km-long Line of Actual Control. China claims Arunachal Pradesh as part of southern Tibet while India contests it.
Both sides have been asserting that pending the final resolution of the boundary issue, it is necessary to maintain peace and tranquility in the border areas.
Asked about India pulling out of RCEP, the envoy said, “We understand and respect India’s decision on RCEP.”
“RCEP is open, and China is willing to work with all parties, in the spirit of mutual understanding and accommodation, to continue consultations and resolve the concerned issues with India,” he said.
After years of negotiations, India last month withdrew from the proposed RCEP over unresolved “core concerns” , saying the proposed pact in its current form would have adverse impact on lives and livelihoods of all Indians.
A number of RCEP member countries including Japan and Indonesia have given clear indications that efforts were on to make India join the mega trade deal which is likely to be signed in February.
The negotiations for the proposed free-trade agreement included 10 member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and six of the bloc’s dialogue partners — China, Japan, South Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand.