China highly values its ties with India and gives priority to the relationship in its overall diplomacy, Beijing’s new envoy to India Sun Weidong said expressing his country’s willingness to join hands with India to boost friendship, mutual trust and cooperation.
Sun who arrived in New Delhi a week ago said ties between the two countries have regional and global significance, in a message posted on the website of Chinese Embassy earlier this week.
“China and India are important neighbours to each other…China-India relations are not only important for our two countries but take on regional and global significance,” Sun said in his message.
“China highly values its ties with India and gives priority to this relationship in its overall diplomacy. We are willing to join hands with India to pass on our friendship, increase mutual trust and expand cooperation. Together, we will keep our relations surging forward like the Yangtze River and the Ganges,” he said.
Sun, 53, succeeds Luo Zhaohui as China’s envoy to New Delhi, as Luo returned home after his appointment as vice minister in China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Regarded as an expert on South Asia, Sun served as China’s ambassador to Pakistan from 2013 to 2017.
One of his key tasks would be to prepare for a visit by Chinese president Xi Jinping to follow up on last year’s informal summit at Wuhan, that helped defuse tensions following the 73-day long tense military standoff in Bhutan’s Doklam plateau in 2017.
India and China have an unresolved border dispute, a legacy of their brief but bitter 1962 war. Numerous rounds of talks have failed to yield results, though Indian diplomats point out that the two countries have not fired a single shot at each other for decades.
Indian foreign minister S Jaishankar is scheduled to visit Beijing in August to prepare for Xi’s visit expected in October.
Prior to his arrival in India, during an interaction with Indian journalists in Beijing, Sun said with two strong leaders – ie Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping — at the helm in both the countries, the ties would scale new heights.
Following the strategic guidance provided by Xi and Modi at their first informal summit in Wuhan last year, China-India relations have gathered a “very good and sound momentum of development,” he was quoted as saying by news reports.
“This year, the two leaders are going to hold another informal meeting. I believe, this will be a top priority in our bilateral relations which will surely take our relations on to new heights,” he said.