Value friendship with India but firm on our ‘sovereign rights’, says China


Beijing: China always values the good neighbourliness and friendship with India, but it is also firm on upholding its “sovereign rights”, interests and territorial integrity, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Saturday.
Beijing handled the Doklam standoff with “restraint”, showing the “emphasis” it places on ties with New Delhi, he said.
Touching on China’s relations with major countries and its diplomatic initiatives in 2017, Yi, in a lengthy article in the Chinese International Studies journal, dwelt about Sino-India ties, stating that Beijing’s diplomatic engagement with New Delhi resulted in India withdrawing its troops and equipment from Doklam.
The journal is published by China Institute of International Studies, a think-tank attached to the Chinese Foreign Ministry.
The 73-day standoff at Doklam over which Bhutan also has counter claims began in June last year when Indian troops objected to Chinese army building a road close to India’s
Chicken-Neck Corridor, a narrow corridor connecting north-eastern states.
The standoff ended on August 28 after Chinese troops agreed to stop building the road following which both the sides agreed on the “expeditious disengagement” of personnel at Doklam, according to the External Affairs Ministry.
Yi said China always values the good neighbourliness and friendship with India as “we are each other’s big neighbours and ancient civilisations”.
In the meantime, China is also firm in upholding its sovereign rights and interests and territorial integrity, he said.
“We handled the Indian border troops trespass into China’s Dong Long (Doklam) area in our national interest, on just grounds and with restraint. Through diplomatic means, we engaged with the Indian side and it withdrew its equipment and personnel.
“This demonstrates not only the value and emphasis we put on relations with India but also our sincerity and sense of responsibility in maintaining regional peace and stability,” the foreign minister said.
On Chinese diplomacy in general, he said China will continue to break new ground in pursuing major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics in the new era.