China’s ambassador to India has warned against economic decoupling following the border stand-off and said attempts to clarify the de facto border could cause “new disputes”.
In an online discussion with former Indian diplomats, Sun Weidong called for the “proper handling” of differences and expressed “confidence” about working with India.
Relations between the two countries are at their lowest point in decades after a deadly clash last month in the Himalayas.
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“In fact, the Chinese and Indian economies are interwoven and interdependent … Whether you want it or not, the trend is difficult to reverse. Both China and India have been deeply embedded in the global industrial chain and supply chain,” Sun said.
“The forced decoupling of the Chinese and Indian economies is against the trend and will only lead to a ‘lose-lose’ outcome.”
Sun was speaking a day after the Indian government hailed a deal to buy five Rafale jets from France as helping it “to deter any threats”.
Last month’s clash in the Galwan Valley left 20 Indian soldiers dead, along with an undisclosed number of Chinese casualties, and has prompted calls for a boycott of Chinese goods. The Indian government has banned dozens of Chinese apps, including TikTok. The two countries have been at loggerheads at different locations along the 3,348km Line of Actual Control (LAC), which followed the ceasefire line after the 1962 war between the two countries.
The two each hold territory claimed by the other and have not even been able to agree the limits of the LAC.
When asked why China has been reluctant to clarify the LAC, Sun said it would cause “new conflicts”.
“If one side unilaterally delimits the LAC as per its own understanding during the negotiations, that could create new disputes and that would be a departure from the original purpose of clarification of the LAC,” Sun said.
He insisted that Chinese troops had stayed on their side of the “traditional customary boundary line” and accused the Indian army of provoking clashes.
Military representatives from both sides have held four rounds of talks and agreed to disengage troops at clash points to de-escalate tensions.
But some disagreements have yet to be resolved and India’s ministry of external affairs said earlier this week that “the disengagement process has not yet been completed”.
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This article China-India relations: ambassador warns New Delhi not to try to decouple economies first appeared on South China Morning Post