New Delhi, Jan 26: Indian Ambassador to China, Gautam Bambawale said on Friday that the Doklam standoff was blown out of proportion. However, he said that it was important not to change the status quo on sensitive points along the Indo-China border. Also Read - Standoff Between Indian, Chinese Troops in Ladakh Ends After Delegation-level Talks
He said this in an interview with the state-controlled Chinese daily, the Global Times. He said India and China should try to resolve outstanding issues through talks– including the $50 billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). India is opposed to the project as it passes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. Also Read - India-China Relations Looking up, Four Meetings at Highest Level in a Year Unprecendented: Sources
“I believe that you are blowing it out of proportion. The people of India and China and our leaders are experienced enough and wise enough to overcome such momentary hurdles in our relationship,” Bambawale said while answering a question if the Doklam standoff damaged ties. Also Read - Arunachal Pradesh: Chinese Troops Cross Line of Actual Control, Sent Back by Indian Army
“I believe that in the post-Doklam period, India and China need to be talking to each other and conversing with each other much more than in the past,” he added.
He stressed on the importance of maintaining status quo, saying both the sides should be sensitive to each other’s concerns.
“In our conversations and discussions, it is important to talk to each other and not talk past each other. We must be sensitive to the other side’s concerns. Our interaction must be based on equality and mutual benefit. Also, in the India- China border areas, especially at some sensitive points, it is important not to change the status quo. We need to be clear about this,” he added.
He said that there was no ill-will towards China among the common people of the country. He said that common people do not have an “anti-China” mentality. He said people of India have admiration for China’s economic progress.
He said that one of the most important issues that afflicts India and China relationship is the growing trade deficit. He questioned why China was not opening its market for India’s IT and pharmaceuticals products.
“For 20 years, we have been asking for the Chinese market to be opened for our pharmaceutical and IT products and services. To no avail. What do we make of this? What conclusions should we draw? We should discuss such issues frankly but also take steps to resolve them,” he said.
“Secondly, the CPEC passes through Indian-claimed territory and hence violates our territorial integrity. This is a major problem for us. We need to talk about it, not push it under the carpet,” he added.