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Boundary settlement process should not stall ties with India: China

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Beijing, Jan 19 (PTI) China on Friday said the “settlement process” of the boundary issue should not influence the normal development of ties with India, including trade relations.

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“China always believes that China-India boundary question is a historic issue and should be placed and resolved appropriately in our bilateral relations,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning told a media briefing.

Mao was reacting to a reported remark by an Indian official at the World Economic Forum (WEF) at Davos that India’s investment rules for China could change once their relationship at the border stabilises.

“The situation on the China-India border has been stable on the whole, and the settlement process should not influence the normal development of our bilateral relationship,” Mao said reiterating China’s stance on India-China ties.

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The India-China relationship is at a standstill since May 2020, when, in the words of External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, “the Chinese have literally brought tens of thousands of soldiers in full military preparation mode right to the LAC, (Line of Actual Control) in Ladakh” in violation of all bilateral agreements.

Tensions peaked with the deadly clash between the militaries of the two countries at Galwan Valley in June 2020.

India has been demanding China pull back all its additional troops deployed in Eastern Ladakh since May 2020 while China has been maintaining the issue should not stall the bilateral ties.

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Mao said the two-way trade volume between China and India has exceeded USD 100 billion in recent consecutive years and kept rising annually, which shows the resilience and potential of economic and trade cooperation between the two countries.

“China hopes that India could fully recognize the win-win nature of China-India economic and trade cooperation, and provide a fair, just, transparent and non-discriminatory business environment for Chinese companies investing and operating in India,” she added.

According to the latest annual trade data from Chinese Customs covering the period from January to December 2023, India-China trade continues to remain high as the total trade last year climbed to a record USD 136.2 billion. PTI KJV NPK GSN NPK NPK

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