China has called for a negotiated resolution of the border issue with India, shifting the focus on the root cause of problem, following the latest incidents in Chumar and Demchok, along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said during his regular briefing on Thursday that the incident along the border, to which both China and India attach great importance “has been effectively controlled with immediate effect” and “managed”. But he added: “China hopes to continue to work with the Indian side to safeguard peace and tranquillity in the border area and solve the border issue through consultation and dialogue.”
The spokesman’s nuanced emphasis on the resolution of the border issue echoed remarks by President Xi Jinping in India that “China has the determination to work with India through friendly consultation to settle the boundary question at an early date.”
In dealing with a complex relationship, which has its areas of agreement and differences, the Chinese appear to have amplified their pitch on holding a pervasive dialogue with India at all levels in the hope of building consensus. In response to a question on the Maritime Silk Road (MSR) — an initiative, which many of its critics say has an element of Beijing’s alleged India-containment strategy — the spokesman said China and India should build consensus on this subject, based on dialogue. He pointed out that during President Xi’s visit, “China and India should communicate on the relevant issues and we look forward to forming important consensus with India in this regard.” He stressed that the MSR proposal focussed on achieving “win-win cooperation” that brings real benefits to the two peoples.
Chinese officials say that the latest initiatives of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st century MSR will carry forward the earlier spirit of the peaceful exchanges between China and its neighbours along the ancient super-highway, linking Asia with Europe.