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Ambassador’s Interaction with Chinese Media 27 August 2019

Ambassador Vikram Misri held a media interaction with a group of Chinese journalists on 27 August 2019, speaking on India-China relations and related issues.

2. Ambassador referred to the positive direction of India-China relations following the Informal Summit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi with President Xi Jinping at Wuhan last year, and the important consensus reached by the two leaders that as fast-growing developing countries which constitute nearly 1/3rd of the world’s population, stable and balanced relations between India and China were beneficial for not only the two countries but also for the region and world.

3. Ambassador referred to the importance of maintenance of peace and tranquility in the India-China border areas for the smooth development of relations, and also spoke of the growing salience of trade and economic aspects in India-China bilateral relations. Ambassador highlighted the important recent visit of External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar to Beijing for the 2nd High-Level Mechanism on Cultural and People-to-People Exchanges and for bilateral meetings with his counterpart State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

4. In this context, Ambassador spoke of the need for strengthening people-to-people contacts between India and China, including in areas connected to the HLM such as exchanges between media, think-tanks, and in education, museum management, culture, tourism and so on. The series of celebratory activities to be carried out by the two sides on the occasion of the upcoming 70th Anniversary of Establishment of India-China Diplomatic Relations was an important element in this regard.

5. In response to journalists’ questions, Ambassador took the opportunity to reiterate India’s clear stance on the revocation of Article 370, emphasizing that Article 370 was intended to be a temporary and transitional provision, and the amendment of Article 370 was a purely internal matter, and the sole prerogative of India.

6. Ambassador also pointed out that the change was an internal administrative reorganization, had no external ramifications whatsoever, and was intended to enable good governance and provide social and economic justice to the people of the state of Jammu & Kashmir, affording them the same rights available to citizens in other parts of India.

7. Ambassador reiterated that there was no implication for either the external boundaries of India or the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China. India was not raising any additional territorial claims. The Chinese concerns in this regard were therefore misplaced. So far as the India China boundary question was concerned the two sides had agreed to a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable settlement of the Boundary Question on the basis of the 2005 Political Parameters and Guiding Principles. This had been articulated by EAM as well during his recent visit to Beijing.

8. In response to a question, Ambassador noted that Prime Minister Modi had in response to a media question during the recent G7 meeting, clearly stated India’s stance that issues between India and Pakistan were purely bilateral and were not international in nature. The recent informal consultations of the UN Security Council in New York had also indicated that India-Pakistan issues were bilateral and could only be resolved bilaterally.

9. Regarding the Informal Summit, Ambassador mentioned that similar to the first edition of the Informal Summit, the leaders of the two countries could discuss regional, international and bilateral issues, and that the format of the meeting was conducive to this.

10. Ambassador referred to the expansion in bilateral relations over the past decades into a full-spectrum relationship. There was a diverse array of bilateral mechanisms as well as progress in many areas. Areas such as increasing people-to-people contacts, exchanges and understanding, as well as strengthening understanding between the media, were important areas for further efforts. It was important to try to understand each others’ perceptions and to look beyond the headlines.

11. In response to a question on 5G technology, Ambassador stated that no decision had been taken by the Government of India. Any decision in this regard would be taken on the basis of India’s national interest and not in response to any kind of external pressure.

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