India, China should address issues with rational approach: Newly-appointed Chinese envoy

New Delhi, Sep 3 (PTI): China attaches great importance to its ties with India and both the countries should address outstanding issues with rational approach and settle disputes through dialogue and mutual trust, newly- appointed Chinese envoy Sun Weidong said on Tuesday.
He also asserted that latest wave of protests in Hong Kong is a purely “internal affair” of China and that Beijing would never allow external forces to interfere on the issue.
In an apparent reference to the US, he said a certain country provoked trade frictions with his country and that China will firmly defend its legitimate interests.
Sun was speaking at a reception organised by the Chinese embassy to welcome him to his new position.
On China’s ties with India, he said differences are hard to avoid for neighbours and major countries and the focus should be to properly handle them.
“We should look at issues with rationality, put them in the bigger picture, reduce differences through consultation, settle disputes through dialogue, promote peace through development, and enhance mutual trust through cooperation,” he said.
India and China have a decades-long boundary dispute. Armies of the two countries had 72-day-long face off in Doklam in 2017 which had triggered fears of a war between the two Asian giants.
Sun said the Chinese government attaches great importance to its relations with India, calling it a “basic foreign policy” approach his country has adhered to for a long time.
He also proposed that the two sides should promote the development of China-India relations from four dimensions — “leading, transmitting, shaping and integrating”.
“Leading”, he explained, meant to making the second informal summit a success by highlighting the guidance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Xi is scheduled to visit India in October for the second informal summit with Modi. The first informal summit had taken place in Chinese city of Wuhan in April last year.
“Transmitting refers to the transmission of the leaders’ consensus to all levels and translate the consensus into tangible cooperation and outcomes,” Sun added.
“Shaping means going beyond the mode of managing differences, shaping bilateral relations and accumulating positive momentum. Integrating means to strengthen exchanges and cooperation, promote convergence of interests and achieve common development,” the Chinese envoy said.
He said the rise of emerging economies represented by China and India has changed the international landscape and increased the representation and voice of developing countries in international affairs.
“If China and India speak in one voice, the whole world will listen. We both advocate world multi-polarity, economic globalisation, trade liberalisation, and oppose unilateralism and protectionism,” he said.
The envoy said China-India relations have extended beyond bilateral dimensions, and are significant in maintaining regional and global peace, prosperity and development.
“To maintain regional and global peace and stability is not only the responsibility of China and India as major countries, but also the need of the two countries to materialise their own development,” he said.
In an oblique reference to China’s trade war with the US, he said: “We are willing to properly handle differences on the basis of mutual respect and resolve issues through dialogue and negotiation.”
“However, any consultation and negotiation must be based on equality and mutual respect. The result should be mutually beneficial,” he added.
On the issue of pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, he said all governments in the world recognise China’s sovereignty over the territory.
“We would never allow any external forces to interfere in Hong Kong affairs. Be it in the past, present or future, China has the ability, confidence and resilience to overcome any risk and challenge,” he said.
Sun said some radical protesters have committed violent crimes under the pretext of anti-extradition bill, “gravely trampling” on the rule of law and and challenging the bottom line of the “one country, two systems” principle.
“Some external forces meddled in China’s internal affairs, deliberately calling violent crimes as peaceful protest. This is an outright double standard. Hong Kong affairs are purely China’s internal affairs,” he said.
“We would never allow any external forces to interfere in Hong Kong affairs. Be it in the past, present or future, China has the ability, confidence and resilience to overcome any risk and challenge,” he said.