China steps up “feel good” diplomacy with India

BEIJING: China’s Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesperson, Lu Kang on Monday stepped up the on-going messaging between Beijing and New Delhi, highlighting a steady improvement in their post-Doklam ties.

In response to a question during a routine briefing, he said that China had noted positive remarks by the Indian side. Lu was apparently referring to observations by Raveesh Kumar, the spokesperson for India’s Ministry of External Affairs.

In response to positive remarks by China’s Foreign Minister regarding the prospects of Beijing-New Delhi ties, Mr Kumar had on Friday said that India was ‘willing to work with the Chinese side to develop our relations based on commonalities while dealing with differences on the basis of mutual respect and sensitivity to each other’s interests, concerns and aspirations’.

He had also said that as ‘two major countries and large economies, relations between India and China are not just important bilaterally, but also have regional and global significance’.

Mr Lu, in his response, stressed that during his annual press conference on Thursday, the Chinese Foreign Minister had ‘elaborated on China’s basic position on its relations with India’.

“We wish to work with the Indian side to take the important consensus between the two leaderships as our guidance to improve our mutual trust, enhance mutually beneficial cooperation, manage our differences and ensure the correct track of our relations’ development,” Mr Lu observed.

During his media conference, Mr Wang, in response to a question had said regarding the flurry of visits by the Chinese and Indian officials after the 73-day Doklam military standoff in the Sikkim sector: “The Chinese dragon and the Indian elephant must not fight each other but rather dance with each other. If China and India are united, one plus one will not only equal two, but also eleven.”

Mr Wang and Chinese state councillor Yang Jiechi had visited India in the backdrop of the post-Doklam meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the September summit of BRICS countries in the Chinese coastal city of Xiamen. Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale had also visited China last month for talks with top officials.

A string of track-1 meetings are now in the offing, including the China-India strategic economic dialogue next month, which is likely to be preceded by Chinese Commerce Minister, Zhong Shan and International Department of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Vice Minister, Guo Yezhou.

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