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Let us meet halfway, interests should outweigh differences: China tells India

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Beijing, Jun 23: China's foreign minister, Wang Yi said that New Delhi and Beijing should put aside differences on the border in its appropriate place and seek to resolve the dispute through dialogue.

Instead of undermining each other, the two countries should support and enhance trust rather than being suspicious, he also added during his first meeting with ambassador Pradeep Kumar Rawat who became India's envoy to China in March.

Let us meet halfway, interests should outweigh differences: China tells India

The two sides should meet halfway to push bilateral relations back on track of stable and healthy development at an early date. The meeting was held ahead of the 14th BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) summit which is being hosted by Beijing online.

A Chinese foreign ministry statement said, "China and India's common interests far outweigh their differences, adding that the two sides should support rather than undermine each other, strengthen cooperation rather than guard against each other, and enhance mutual trust rather than be suspicious of each other."

Wang Yi also put forward a four point agenda to define and take forward ties with India in the backdrop of the ongoing and dragging military standoff along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh.

These included the requirement to follow the important strategic consensus reached by the top leadership of the two countries that China and India are not competitors but partners. He also said that China and India will not pose threats to each other and are mutual development opportunities.

The second principle is that both countries should issue at an appropriate position in bilateral relations and seek solutions through dialogue and consultation. The remaining two were the need to expand mutually beneficial cooperation and to expand multilateral cooperation and jointly cope with the complex world situation.

The Chinese foreign minister said that India's tradition of independent foreign policy was reflected in a recent speech by External Affairs Minister, Dr. S Jaishankar where he had expressed his disapproval of 'Eurocentrism' and his hope that none should interfere in China-India relations.

On June 3, Dr. Jaishankar spoke at the GLOBESEC 2022 Bratislava Forum where he said that the world can no longer be 'Eurocentric' and that Europe needed to shun the mindset in the context of the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war. The statements by Dr. Jaishankar were widely shared in the Chinese official media and online.

"India will firmly pursue an independent foreign policy, and is willing to work with China to adhere to the strategic consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries, strengthen communication, properly handle differences, enhance mutual trust, and keep advancing bilateral cooperation," ambassador Rawat said according to the statement.

Several rounds of military and diplomatic talks have been held since the standoff began in May 2020.

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