'Big fan of India': Top China diplomat
Dhaka, Oct 27: In what could be considered as a surprising comment from hostile China, a top Chinese diplomat has said that he is "a big fan of India".
China's top diplomat in Bangladesh Li Jiming on Wednesday said China does not see India as a strategic rival or strategic competitor. "Personally, I'm a big fan of India. We can work together more closely to solve economic and geopolitical issues," PTI quoted him as saying.
His comments come at a time when External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar told the outgoing Chinese Ambassador in New Delhi Sun Weidong that peace and tranquillity in the border areas are essential for normal ties between India and China, according to a report in PTI.
Li further stated that both the countries should closely work to resolve any economic, geopolitical and other issues in this region and beyond.
"We never view India as a strategic rival or strategic competitor of China," Ambassador Li said. He further commented that China "does not want to see the Bay of Bengal as heavily armed."
In an apparent reference to Russia and Ukraine war, he said that China all South Asian stakeholders to play a positive role and it also wanted them not to act "the way some countries are doing (currently) in Europe".
Li Jiming claimed that Beijing wants all the regional disputes to be resolved "in an Asian way' instead of involving Western nations. "We (China) believe, we should solve our regional problems in Asian way, not by (following) standard practice in Europe or South America," he said during an interaction with diplomatic correspondents.
The Indian and Chinese troops have been locked in a tense border standoff in eastern Ladakh since May 5, 2020, when a violent clash between the two sides erupted in the Pangong lake area. China has also been building bridges and constructing other infrastructure such as roads and residential units in the border areas with India.