The comments from ambassador Sun Weidong came even as heavily armed forces remain battle-ready near the disputed mountainous border region, where there have been several violent clashes since May, and after the foreign ministers of the two countries agreed to de-escalate tension.
“China-India relations have once again come to a crossroads,” said ambassador Sun Weidong in an embassy statement on Monday.
Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China.
“Whenever the situation gets difficult, it is all the more important to ensure the stability of the overall relationship and preserve mutual trust. As long as the two sides keep moving the relationship in the right direction, building on the previous achievements, there will be no difficulty or challenge that can’t be overcome.”
Sun said meetings between the foreign ministers in Moscow last week were an important step in the right direction that would provide “political impetus” to ease border tensions.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Indian External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar agreed to a five-point plan during in-person meetings on Friday. They agreed that the two sides should “quickly disengage” troops from the border.
Before the foreign ministers’ meeting, China alleged that Indian troops had fired “provocative” shots in the first live fire in the border region since 1975.
Flexing of military might on both sides continues even as foreign ministers urge de-escalation and more talks.
On Monday, China’s state media broadcast war games carried out in Tibet, featuring high-altitude land and air weaponry.
Hu Xijin, editor-in-chief of the state media tabloid, Global Times, said on Thursday that the drills targeted the China-India border situation.
“China hopes the five-point consensus reached between the two foreign ministers can be implemented but is ready to strike a heavy blow to Indian troops if they refuse to implement it,” he said in a tweet on Monday.
In a speech marking the opening of India’s 18-day parliamentary session, Prime Minister Narendra Modi told the country its lawmakers stood behind India’s armed forces with one voice.
“Today, the brave soldiers of our army are on the borders. They are defending the borders with great courage and high spirits, in difficult terrain,” he said.
More from South China Morning Post:
- China-US tension: ambassador Terry Branstad to step down but America offers no news on a replacement
- Border dispute: what’s at stake for Russia as it tries to mediate between China and India?
- China-India border tension: US ready to help resolve dispute, Trump says
This article China-India border dispute: now we both have an incentive to ease tension, says ambassador first appeared on South China Morning Post