Global Times special correspondent in India: Yu Shuangshuang
“China should respect India’s territorial sovereignty as Beijing was very sensitive to matters relating to its own sovereignty,” Indian Foreign secretary S. Jaishankar’s comments at the Raisina Dialogue became the focus of Indian media. He further said: “CPEC passes through a territory that we see as ours. Surely people will understand India’s reaction.” The Indian media considers that this is the first time India is linking the CPEC construction with India’s territorial sovereignty.
The Raisina Dialogue was set up only two years back, but it is envisioned to be India’s flagship conference of geopolitics and geo-economics, matching with the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore. The conference name “Raisina” comes from Raisina Hill, the elevation in New Delhi, which is the location of the presidential palace of India. The dialogue is held jointly by India’s Ministry of External Affairs, the Observer Research Foundation (ORF) and numerous think tanks. The Indian government also hopes to use this platform to declare its position on relevant issues.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi also called on China to show “sensitivity” during his inaugural speech at the Raisina Dialogue on January 17. He said that “respect for territorial integrity is an important prerequisite for development of regional connectivity,” “it is normal to have differences between our two countries, but for peace and progress in the region, we need to show sensitivity and respect for each other’s core concerns and interests.” In this regard, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said on January 18 that the CPEC is a new framework for long-term cooperation and development in various fields built up by China and Pakistan, which is highly significant in promoting regional connectivity and trade and economic cooperation, as well as being beneficial for regional peace, stability and development. It targets no third party and will not affect China’s stance on the Kashmir issue.
Raisina Dialogue was positive about the overall development of Sino-Indian relations. According to THE HINDU report on January 19, Jaishankar said during the speech that “both India and China will not lose sight of the strategic nature of their engagement, because the rise of each other can be mutually supportive.”