Wang Yi Speaks with Indian External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar on the Phone

On February 25, 2021, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi had a phone conversation with Indian External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar.

Wang Yi said that the rights and wrongs of last year's situation in China-India border areas are very clear, and profound lessons should be drawn from the past. Recently, India has vacillated and even moved backward over its policy on China. It has affected and disrupted bilateral pragmatic cooperation and is in the interest of neither side. Experience over the past few decades has repeatedly demonstrated that acts of highlighting differences will not help resolve the issue, but erode the foundation of mutual trust.

Wang Yi said that the recent completion of disengagement of Chinese and Indian frontline troops in the Pangong Lake area has significantly defused the situation on the ground. Both sides should cherish the hard-won situation, jointly consolidate the results achieved, maintain the momentum of consultation, further de-escalate the situation, improve border control mechanism, and advance border negotiation process, in order to accumulate and enhance mutual trust and achieve peace and security in border areas.

Wang Yi said that as China and India are both ancient civilizations and major emerging economies at a critical and historical stage of development and rejuvenation, the two countries need to support each other. The deteriorating bilateral relations are unnecessary friction and losses to both sides. China and India need to implement the strategic consensus reached by the leaders of two countries, firmly follow the right path of mutual trust and cooperation between neighboring major countries, and not go astray with suspicion and distrust nor fall back on a road of negative retrogression. The two sides need to handle border issues properly, so as to prevent the bilateral relations from falling into a negative cycle. Border disputes are an objective reality and need to be attached adequate attention and taken seriously. However, they are not the whole story of China-India relations, and should be placed in a proper position in the bilateral relationship. China and India should adhere to the general direction that the two major emerging economies should work together to achieve development instead of blocking each other and building up walls. The two sides can take progressive steps to create more conditions to further improve bilateral ties and promote pragmatic cooperation.

Subrahmanyam Jaishankar said that the recent disengagement of the two troops in the Pangong Lake area is an important outcome of earnest implementation of the consensus reached by the two foreign ministers in Moscow. India hopes to enhance dialogue and consultation with China to realize full disengagement in other areas, facilitate de-escalation of the border situation, and safeguard peace and security of border areas. India is ready to take into account the long-term development of the relationship with China and the overall situation, implement the important consensus reached by the leaders of both countries, and push the bilateral relations back to track at an early date.

The two sides agreed to set up a hotline for timely exchange of views.