Days after signing a deal with the US, following the comments from China alleging unnecessary interference by a “third party”, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on 29 October said that India and China would continue the ongoing military and diplomatic-level dialogues to arrive at a “mutually acceptable solution”.
“Let me make it clear that there is no connection between this (India-China talks) and any ‘extraneous issue’,” said the ministry spokesperson, Anurag Srivastava. He was replying to the question whether China had delayed the next round of military talks due to the signing of the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement between India and the US at the 2+2 dialogue.
A day after the 2+2 dialogue between India and US, in which the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo extended strong support for India’s efforts to defend its sovereignty, China had responded by saying that the boundary question was a bilateral matter and there was no space for a third party to intervene.
China said that the development of bilateral ties between countries should not infringe upon legitimate rights and interests of a third party and should be conducive to regional peace, stability and development.
“The boundary question is a bilateral matter between China and India. The two sides have been discussing disengagement and de-escalation in the border areas through diplomatic and military channels. China and India have the wisdom and ability to handle their differences properly. There’s no space for a third party to intervene,” said a statement released by the Chinese Embassy.
“The ‘Indo-Pacific strategy’ proposed by the US is to stir up confrontation among different groups and blocs and to stoke geopolitical competition, in a bid to maintain the dominance of the US, organize closed and exclusive ideological cliques,” it said.
Addressing the media after the 2+2 dialogue, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said, “Today is a great opportunity for two great democracies to grow closer. We have a lot to discuss today, from cooperating on defeating the pandemic that originated in Wuhan to confronting Chinese Communist Party’s threats to security & freedom, to promoting peace, stability throughout the region.”
“US and India are taking steps to strengthen our cooperation against all manner of threats & not just those posed by Chinese Communist Party. Last year, we’ve expanded our cooperation on cyber issues, our navies have held joint exercises in Indian ocean,” he said.