A Chinese embassy official in New Delhi on Monday said that the “long-standing” economic and cultural ties between India and China will not suffer as a result of the ongoing military standoff between the armies of the two countries in Doklam near Sikkim.
Even as Indian and Chinese soldiers continue their weeks-long standoff in Doklam near Sikkim, a Chinese embassy official in New Delhi sought to allay fears of other Indo-Sino ties being hit.
The “long-standing” economic and cultural ties that India and China share will not be hit. “Both India and China enjoy long cooperation as our lands are connected,” news agency IANS quoted Li Rongrong, Second Secretary in the Economic and Commercial Counsellor’s Office of the Chinese Embassy in India, as saying Monday.
“India and China have enjoyed historical and cultural connections over thousands of years. And, be it trade or other relationships, we have been establishing ties. This border issue, I reckon, is temporary,” news agency PTI quoted an unnamed Chinese embassy official as saying. “And it will not affect our long-standing economic and cultural ties.”
It wasn’t immediately clear if the official quoted by PTI was Li. However, both IANS and PTI reported that the respective comments were made during a promotional event for the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road International Expo to be held in the city of Dongguan in the Chinese province of Guangdong from September 21 to 24.
Notably, the India-China Economic and Cultural Council (ICEC), a not-for-profit orgnaisation, renewed its partnership with the Dongguan’s municipality for the flagship expo.
“My dear Chinese friends, India is much bigger than what you see on TV screens. Don’t believe what the private channels are showing you or the commentators they bring in for their shows. Most of it is rhetoric. Believe only what the Indian government tells or any of its ministers or Foreign Ministry,” Secretary General of ICEC, Mohd Saqib said in his address at the promotional event.
“What unfortunate things you have reading in media or seeing on TV (about the border issue), it is going to be pass very soon. India and China have been Friends and feel welcome in our country. And, I tell the same things to Indian delegates planning to attend this exposition, do not feel insecure,” Saqib added.
THE STANDOFF ::
For around three weeks now, the Indian and Chinese armies have been engaged in a non-violent standoff in Dokalam, an area that is disputed between China and Bhutan.
The standoff was triggered after Indian Army soldiers attempted to stop the People’s Liberation Army from constructing a road in the area. The Indian soldiers intervened after Bhutan, whose army first made contact with the Chinese road construction crew, sought New Delhi’s help.
Since then, soldiers from the Indian Army and the PLA have stood their ground at Doklam in what is the longest-ever, though civilised standoff.
Chinese media has unusually raised the rhetoric over the issue, calling on Beijing to teach New Delhi a “lesson”. The Chinese Army too has been blunt, asking India to immediately withdraw its troops and making passing references to the 1962 Indo-Sino war where India suffered a humiliating defeat.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jingping recently met on the sidelines of the G20 meeting in Hamburg, Germany but there has been no indication – from either countries – on when and how the standoff will be resolved.
However, just today Chinese media again upped the ante, with the official China Daily newspaper warning that there will be “more serious consequences” if India does not withdraw its troops.
By: India Today
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