Border peace basis for healthy China-India ties: Global Times editorial

Global Times (18 June 2020) – Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Wednesday talked to Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on the phone. The two sides agreed to fairly deal with the serious clashes between Chinese and Indian troops at the Galwan Valley, and adhere to the consensus reached by their military leaders to cool the situation down.

The latest clash at Galwan Valley is regrettable. How to avoid the repeated occurrence of such conflicts and prevent the situation from escalating has become the biggest test to China-India relations.

Wang pointed out it was the Indian side that intentionally provoked and started violent attack. He also expressed his opposition to the actions of the Indian side. It is hoped that India does not indulge in its sentiment, but understands the stance of the Chinese side.

We believe Indian society should wake up from its geopolitical fantasy, view China pragmatically and the two countries’ border disputes. It will be significant for India to maintain a steady national strategy and also key to maintaining the stability of China-India border.

Indian society needs to realize that China is committed to friendship with India and respects India as a strong neighbor and a regional power. China’s basic policy toward India is to keep China-India relations and the border areas stable. In the meantime, China resolutely defends its territorial sovereignty. The two countries have border disputes, but have also developed a mechanism that has resulted in general stability at the border for decades. Resorting to this mechanism and improving on it rather than destroying it is the only way out for the two to address frictions. The Indian side should never think about pushing China to make concessions, because China won’t. Moreover, China’s countermeasures will never be late no matter the cost.

Border disputes won’t change Beijing’s cooperation with New Delhi. And China won’t budge in terms of the border issue no matter how India messes it up. A confident and capable China won’t hesitate in its strategic decisions either.

We noticed that in recent years, favorable opinion toward China has rarely been heard from India, but voices that cater to the values-based alliance and the Indo-Pacific Strategy are becoming louder. Can these provide strong strategic support to India’s desire to rise?

These concepts dominated by the US implicitly target China, and Washington needs a country like India to spearhead attacks on China.

If New Delhi is obsessed with playing such a role, it is giving up on itself rather than being strategically active. It will turn itself into a tool of the so-called value alliance, abandoning its ambition of being an independent big country.

China and India must be capable of properly handling the border disputes. No ties between India and other countries can take the place of India-China relations. New Delhi can never unilaterally resolve the border disputes with Beijing, and it will never realize the prosperity it desires if its 2,000-kilometer border with China is repeatedly marked by clashes.

The Indian people should not be intoxicated by the partiality of some forces in the US and other Western countries, whose public opinions are poisoning them. We notice that there are sober minds within India who promote developing healthy ties with China so that the two big powers can depend on rather than consume each other.

The phone call between the Chinese and Indian foreign ministers on Wednesday will help ease the situation. While they expressed their stance, they also set the tone for easing the situation, which will direct public opinion in their own countries.

The Indian side especially must fulfill its promise and implement the consensus reached between the two countries. The border issue is the most sensitive part of China-India relations. Only when it is eased can the two engage in cooperation in a composed manner.

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