On September 10, 2020 local time, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with Indian Foreign Minister Jaishankar during his attendance at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Moscow.
Wang Yi said that it is normal for China and India to have some differences as two neighboring big countries, but the differences have to be put in the proper perspective of the bilateral relationship. And the key to doing so is to adhere to the strategic consensus of the leaders of the two countries that China and India are not rivals but partners who pose no threat to each other and instead offer opportunities for development. As two large developing countries that are rapidly revitalizing, what we need now is cooperation instead of confrontation, and mutual trust, not suspicion. The more difficult the times are, the more important it is to stabilize the overall situation and maintain mutual trust. China-India relations are now at a crossroads again, but as long as the two sides firmly grasp the right direction of China-India relations, there is no hurdle that cannot be overcome.
Wang Yi elaborated on China’s solemn position on the situation on the China-India border, emphasizing that what is pressing now is that firing provocations and other dangerous acts that violate commitments cease immediately, transgressing personnel and equipment be withdrawn and that (border forces of both countries) disengage at the earliest in order to promote de-escalation of the situation. China supports strengthening of the on-site dialogue between the border forces of both sides to resolve specific issues, and is also willing to maintain communication with India through diplomatic and military channels, and work together to restore peace and tranquility in the border area.
Jaishankar said that India does not want to see an escalation of tensions in the border areas between India and China. India’s policy towards China has not changed, and I believe China has not changed either. The Indian side always believes that development of India-China bilateral relations is not necessarily predicated on the resolution of the border issue, nor does it wish to go back to the past. In fact, India-China relations have continuously made positive progress in recent years. The leaders of the two countries have met many times and reached a series of important consensus on the development of bilateral relations. The Indian side is willing to work with the Chinese side to reduce border tensions through dialogue and negotiation and to restore and maintain peace and tranquillity in the border areas.
After comprehensive and in-depth discussions, the two sides reached a five-point consensus on the current situation.
(N.B. The English version of the above read-out of MOFA, PRC on the meeting between the Indian and Chinese Foreign Ministers can be seen here — it is given for reference, as there are some differences in translation, as per us. Also the Indian Ministry of External Affairs press release on the meeting can be seen here.)