India-Pak issues are bilateral, MEA reminds Chinese envoy
19 June 2018
India on Monday made it clear that matters concerning its relationship with Pakistan are purely bilateral in nature, and cannot be the concern of any third party, even as the Chinese envoy in India suggested a trilateral meeting of India, Pakistan and China to solve border issues.
While Chinese ambassador Lou Zhaohui’s proposal for a trilateral summit between India, China and Pakistan was purely personal and there was nothing official about it, the ministry of external affairs decided not to encourage any such misconceptions in any quarters.
The Chinese envoy’s proposal comes days after Chinese President Xi Jinping met Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the SCO Summit in Qingdao and accepted his invitation to visit India for an informal meeting in 2019.
The trilateral meeting suggested by the Chinese envoy would make China a mediator between India and Pakistan while also helping that country to push its own infrastructure and connectivity agenda.
India has always held that issues between this country and Pakistan are purely bilateral in nature and no other country, not even the United Nations, need involve in any bilateral dispute.
"Some Indian friends suggested that India, China, and Pakistan may have some kind of trilateral summit on the sidelines of the SCO. So, if China, Russia, and Mongolia can have a trilateral summit, then why not India, China, and Pakistan," ANI quoted Chinese ambassador to India Luo Zhaohui as saying.
Speaking at a seminar, titled "Beyond Wuhan: How Far and Fast Can China-India Relations Go" in New Delhi, Zhaohui appealed for a joint effort to maintain peace along the border, and said, "We cannot stand another Doka La incident."
He also praised Modi's remarks at the Shangri-La Dialogue that Asia and the world would have a better future if India and China work together with trust and confidence while being sensitive to each other's interests.
"Modi made a speech in Shangri-La, which sent a positive message to China. In Qingdao, the two leaders agreed to hold a second round of informal summit next year. This is the most significant outcome of the Qingdao meeting (between the two leaders)," Zhaohui said on Monday.
He added: "Strategic communications, meetings and heart-to-heart dialogues are important. What’s equally important is to implement the consensus, transmit (the) leaders' personal friendship down to the people, and take more concrete actions. The Qingdao meeting has shown the right direction."
Zhaohui also said that India and China are neighbours that "cannot be moved away". "We are most populous and largest developing countries. We shared a historic glory of friendly interactions. We also have pending boundary issues. Our relations so multifaceted and complicated, calling for special care and attention," he said.
The Chinese ambassador to India also asserted that India and China have to follow five Cs to improve relations — communication, cooperation, contacts, coordination, and control. He tweeted:
We need to control, manage and narrow differences through expanding cooperation. The boundary question was left over by history. We need to find a mutual acceptable solution through Special Representatives' Meeting while adopting confidence building measures.
"China-India relations have gone beyond bilateral scope. We have broad converging interests and face common challenges in Asia and beyond. We need to enhance coordination and cooperation in SCO, BRICS, and G20, and join hands to tackle global challenges," he said.