The Chinese foreign ministry has said that maintaining peace along the disputed boundary and deepening strategic trust with India is one of the country’s diplomatic priorities, said a report in the Hindustan Times.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian made the statement, which was published on the ministry’s website on Monday, while responding to a question from the official Xinhua news agency on China’s current diplomatic work and priorities.
Lijian in the statement spoke about Beijing’s plans with regard to maintaining bilateral ties with US, Russia, EU, Japan and India amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“For the China-India relation, the two sides should jointly safeguard peace and security in the border areas and maintain a steady and sound development of bilateral ties,” Zhao said in the statement.
The statement, however, made no direct reference to China’s border conflict with India in eastern Ladakh.
It comes two days after India during military talks asked the neighbouring nation to pull back its troops and stop construction activities on the Depsang-Daulat Beg Oldie sector in eastern Ladakh. A skirmish between Indian and Ladakh troops in the Galwan valley in the region had led to the death of 20 Indian soldiers in June this year.
HT reported that the Chinese foreign ministry in a statement issued to it had said that the process of disengagement at the border was not complete and that the frontline forces are still communicating on “controlling the situation”.
“At present, the two sides have disengaged in most of the border areas and will continue to coordinate and consult through military and diplomatic channels to further ease the tension and maintain peace and tranquillity in the border areas,” HT quoted the statement as saying.
India recently had, however, rejected China claims that its troops have completely disengaged from most locations, although there has been some progression on that front.