New Delhi: China on Saturday called for India to reiterate its support for the ‘One-China’ policy in the backdrop of the crisis in the Taiwan Strait, a day after New Delhi suggested that there was no need for any “reiteration” on it.
The comments by Chinese Ambassador Sun Weidong came amid escalating tension between China and Taiwan following US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to the self-governing island last week.
On the eastern Ladakh border standoff, the envoy said both sides should maintain dialogue and work for a mutually acceptable solution even as he noted that Beijing will work hard to bring the bilateral ties back to the “right track”.
“My understanding is that India’s ‘One China’ policy has not changed…We hope that India can reiterate support for the ‘One China principle,” he told a group of journalists.
At a media briefing on Friday, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi avoided mentioning the ‘One-China’ policy, noting that India’s position on “relevant” policies is well-known and consistent and they do not require reiteration.
“India’s relevant policies are well-known and consistent. They do not require reiteration,” he said.
Beijing has claimed that around 160 countries have reaffirmed their support to the “One China” policy following Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, an island that China considers its breakaway province.
Though India supported the ‘One China’ policy, it has not reiterated the same publicly or in bilateral documents for over a decade.
“We do hope that the Indian side will continue to stick to its independent foreign policy, understand and support China’s just position and its efforts to maintain sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Ambassador Sun said.
He said the ‘One China’ policy is the basis for China-India relations and it is also the foundation of China’s ties with all other countries.
Sun said the US was attempting to violate China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
To a question on China putting a technical hold on a move at the UN Security Council to designate Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) deputy chief Abdul Rauf Azhar as a global terrorist, Sun said it was done to study the proposal.
He said China needs more time to analyse the listing application and it has done so as per laid down provisions.
Asked about the return of Indian students to China to resume their studies, Sun said the first batch will be back in that country in “near future” as both sides are working on the matter.
When referred to charges of money laundering against certain Chinese mobile phone companies in India, Sun said his government asks all its firms to follow rules and laws in the countries of their operation.
He also hoped that Indian government will ensure favourable business environment for Chinese companies operating in the country.
To a question on China developing massive military infrastructure along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh and instances of its military jets flying close to the LAC in the region, Sun did not give a direct reply.
“For the overall bilateral relations, the significance of bilateral ties has to be understood by both sides, we will attach importance to China-India relations and work hard to bring it back to the right track,” he said.
“We hope that this kind of effort could be reciprocated from the other side and we do believe that when we achieve such kind of a target, it will definitely benefit not only both of us but also the region and the world,” he added.
The envoy said China is making all efforts to strengthen its communication with India and deepen understanding so as to avoid any kind of “misjudgement or misunderstanding”.
“It is natural for our two big neighbours to have differences. The important thing is how to handle this. I think we have all those guidelines by our leaders and also the channels that we discuss frankly,” Sun said.
“Differences should not be the whole picture of China-India relations, it should not define the bilateral relations,” he said.
Sun said President Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory message to President Droupadi Murmu after she took charge of the top office.