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9 Jan, 2024 09:28

World will benefit from better India-China ties – Russia

The envoy to New Delhi says Moscow hopes the two Asian powers will normalize relations
World will benefit from better India-China ties – Russia

Russia’s envoy in New Delhi has expressed hope that China and India will normalize relations, which have been strained due to unresolved border disputes. 

Speaking to the media on the sidelines of a conference in New Delhi organized by Russia’s Valdai Discussion Club and India’s Vivekananda International Foundation, the Russian ambassador to India, Denis Alipov, reiterated Moscow’s position on the need for its two major partners in Asia to “come to terms with each other.

We are fully supportive of normalization of the relationship between India and China. This is something we are not involved in, and do not want to be involved in. But better relations between… India and China… is something the world will benefit from,” Alipov said. “I am confident that India and China, as major civilizations possessing unique political wisdom, will find ways to make progress on the border issue and normalize relations based on mutual respect.” 

Relations between the two countries have been frosty due to border disputes – they are separated by the Line of Actual Control in the Himalayas – which resulted in violent clashes in 2020, killing soldiers on both sides. In 2022, the two parties disengaged in the Gogra-Hot Springs border area in the western Himalayas, following extensive diplomatic and military talks, but friction remains. The 20th round of negotiations as part of efforts towards disengagement and de-escalation in October last year did not lead to a clear breakthrough.

ANI news agency reported on Tuesday, citing a report on bilateral relations published on Monday by the Chinese Embassy in India, that the two countries expressed hope they can effectively manage their differences and sensitive issues. According to the report, during the 28th Meeting of the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination (WMCC) on China-India Border Affairs, held in November last year, the nations reiterated the need to resolve disputes. 

Ma Jia, the chargé d’affaires of the Chinese Embassy in India, stated last year that China and India “shoulder increasingly important responsibilities in maintaining global stability and promoting common development.” 

She went on to say that the two governments should follow “the important consensus reached by the two leaders” and “translate it into concerted actions” to bring relations back on track – referring to last year’s meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the BRICS summit in Johannesburg, as well as Chinese Premier Li Qiang’s visit to the G20 summit in New Delhi.

New Delhi has insisted that resolving the border disputes is key to normalizing relations with Beijing. In an interview with ANI last week, Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar stressed the importance of three “mutual understandings” between the countries: “respect, sensitivity, and interest.” 

We have tried to construct a relationship which is based on three mutuals… Unless that mutuality is recognized, this relationship will find it difficult to progress,” Jaishankar said, adding that India’s approach to engaging with China should be based on “realism.”

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