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China sees India as a partner instead of a rival: Chinese envoy


New Delhi, Aug 26: China's ambassador to India, Sun Weidong, has described the Galwan Valley clash as an "unfortunate incident", and a "brief moment from the perspective of history".

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    Sun Weidong

    "China sees India as a partner instead of a rival, and an opportunity instead of a threat. We hope to put the boundary question at an appropriate place in bilateral relations, properly handle differences through dialogue and consultation, and push bilateral relations back on track at an early date," the Ambassador said.

    Sun made the remarks at a China-India youth webinar organised on August 18, though the transcript of his speech was released by the Chinese embassy only on Tuesday.

    He also said that they are "working to handle it properly", while referring to the multiple rounds of diplomatic and military-level talks.

    The trigger for the standoff in eastern Ladakh was China's stiff opposition to India laying a key road in the Finger area around the Pangong Tso Lake besides construction of another road connecting the Darbuk-Shayok-Daulat Beg Oldie road.

    The road in the Finger area in Pangong Tso is considered crucial for India to carry out patrols. India has already decided not to stall any border infrastructure projects in eastern Ladakh.

    India laying new road between Ladakh and Darcha amidst standoff with China

    India and China have held several rounds of military and diplomatic talks in the last two-and-half months but no significant headway has been made in resolution of the border row in eastern Ladakh.

    The formal process of disengagement of troops began on July 6, a day after a nearly two-hour telephonic conversation between National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi on ways to bring down tensions in the area.

    However, the process has not moved forward since mid-July.

    The Chinese military has pulled back from Galwan Valley and certain other friction points but the withdrawal of troops has not moved forward in Pangong Tso, Depsang and a couple of other areas, sources said.

    In the five rounds of corps commander-level talks, the Indian side has been insisting on complete disengagement of Chinese troops at the earliest, and immediate restoration of status quo ante in all areas of eastern Ladakh prior to April.

    Even as both sides have been engaged in diplomatic and military talks, the Indian Army is making elaborate preparation to maintain its current strength of troops in all key areas in eastern Ladakh in the harsh winter months.

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