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China, India vow to improve ties after deadly border clash

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
China and India seek to improve relations a year after confrontation in Galwan Valley.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his Indian counterpart Subrahmanyam Jaishankar discuss border control and other bilateral issues during a lengthy phone call.

The Chinese foreign minister addressed the completion of troops disengagement from the Pangong Lake following a deadly confrontation last year.

“China and India must cherish the hard-won situation, maintain the momentum of consultation, improve border control mechanisms, and advance the border negotiation process, to realize peace and tranquility along border areas,” he said.

Yi said India's approach toward China has relapsed recently and the relationship between the two countries has undergone some disruptions, which is not favored by any of the parties.

He added that highlighting the differences between the two nations not only retains the problems, but also erodes the foundation of mutual trust.

“China and India should follow the right path of mutual trust and cooperation instead of the path of suspicion, or retrogressive path, and properly handle border issues to prevent bilateral relations from falling into a negative cycle.”

Yi asserted that the two countries are the emerging economies that should develop cooperatively and remove all hurdles to that end.

The two countries, he said, have the capacity of “advancing pragmatic cooperation", adding that “border issues are not the whole of China-India relations and should be placed in an appropriate position in bilateral relations”.

The Indian minister also tweeted about the phone call, saying he "discussed the implementation of the of our Moscow agreement and reviewed the status of disengagement,” referring to their discussions in Moscow in September last year on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) meeting.

"The recent disengagement of the two militaries in the Pangong Lake area is an important result of the two sides earnestly implementing the consensus reached by the two foreign ministers in Moscow,” Jaishankar said.

Jaishankar stressed that his government is looking forward to strengthening dialogue and consultation with China to solve the border issues, achieve complete disengagement in other regions and establish long-term bilateral relations.

During the telephone call, the two sides agreed to set up a communication hotline to exchange views and discuss the issues in a timely manner.

The confrontation in Galwan Valley deteriorated relations between China and India last year.

Last Friday, China for the first time gave its detailed account of the bloody Himalayan border clash with Indian troops in June 2020, including how four of its soldiers died.

China and India have blamed each other for the clash. India has previously said 20 of its soldiers died in the clash. 

The two sides decided on a disengagement plan in November 2020 and three months later, Chinese and Indian border troops completed their disengagement process on the southern and northern shores of Pangong Lake.

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