• | 1:58 pm

India, China cooperation partners, not rivals, new Chinese envoy says

Beijing ready to work with India to accommodate each other's concerns, and turn the page on 2020 border skirmish as soon as possible, says Xu Feihong

India, China cooperation partners, not rivals, new Chinese envoy says
[Source photo: Chetan Jha]

New Delhi and Beijing are cooperation partners, not competitors, and this should serve as the foundational guidelines for the growth of bilateral relations, Xu Feihong, China’s new ambassador to India, said.

Feihong was speaking in a joint interview to CGTN and the Press Trust of India last week before his departure to New Delhi.

The 17th ambassador of China to India arrived in New Delhi on Friday, 10 May, in peak Indian election season to take up his new role.

“President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Modi have agreed on the important assessment that China and India are cooperation partners, not competitors, and reached an important common understanding that our two countries are each other’s development opportunities, not threats. These should serve as the foundational guidelines for the growth of bilateral relations.

Feihong’s appointment as the Chinese envoy in Delhi comes 18 months after his predecessor’s exit and signals fresh Chinese commitment to engage with India diplomatically

“The world today is experiencing profound changes unseen in a century. We face multiple global challenges such as climate change, food and energy crises, weak economic recovery and so on. China and India hold similar positions when it comes to supporting multilateralism, promoting global recovery, safeguarding food security, responding to climate change, etc.,” Feihong said in the interview, which was uploaded on the embassy’s website.

“Closer communication and coordination on global and regional affairs will not only bring opportunities to both countries and the world, but also add stability and positivity to international relations. It will have an important positive impact on the development of a fair and reasonable international order,” he added.

Last year, the Chinese diplomatic missions in India issued nearly 190,000 visas, over 80% of which were business visas, the ambassador said.

“Business travels in both ways is good for bilateral trade. We hope that India can also provide more convenience to Chinese business people traveling to India for business opportunities,” he added.

Referring to the ongoing border dispute between both countries, Feihong said Beijing believes that China-India ties should not be defined by any single issue or area; the boundary question is not the entirety of the relationship.

After the face-off between Indian and Chinese troops on the border in June 2020 that claimed at least 20 Indian soldiers, both sides stayed communication through diplomatic and military channels.

The two militaries have disengaged at four points in the western section of the border.

“The overall border situation is stable and under control, and border areas are peaceful and tranquil. China is ready to work with India to accommodate each other’s concerns, find a mutually acceptable solution to specific issues through dialogue at an early date, and turn the page as soon as possible,” he said.

The newly appointed envoy said “he would reach out to friends from all sectors to enhance the understanding and trust between both sides, work to restore exchanges and cooperation in various fields and create favorable conditions for a sound and steady China-India relationship.” 

Both China and India boast time-honored civilizations and are each other’s important neighbors and the world’s most significant emerging markets and developing countries, he said. 

“China is willing to help Indian companies cater to China’s market demands and tap into the potential for commercial and trade cooperation, he said while adding that China had sent many trade promotion delegations to India to buy Indian products.

“We would like to see more marketable Indian products enter the Chinese market. The country is ready to provide more excellent facilitation for India’s participation at the China International Import Expo, the China-South Asia Expo, the Canton Fair, and other platforms,” he added.


Kaumudi Kashikar-Gurjar is an Associate Editor at Press Insider. Based in Pune, Kaumudi is a resourceful writer and a trained multimedia journalist who covers business and economy. Formerly the bureau chief at Sakal Times and Mid Day, Kaumudi has written extensively on politics and governance over her career spanning 20 years for publications including the Pune Mirror. More

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