China on Monday reacted to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day speech with its foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian saying that mutual respect and support between the two countries “is the right path and serves the long-term interests of both countries.”
“We noted Prime Minister Modi’s remarks. As two neighbours and emerging major countries each with a population of over 1 billion, the growth of China-India relations will not only benefit our two countries and peoples, but also add stability and positive energy to peace and prosperity of the region and the world at large,” Zhao Lijian said during the regular press briefing on Monday.
“Mutual respect and support between China and India is the right path and serves the long-term interests of both countries. China will continue to work with India to enhance political mutual trust, properly manage differences, strengthen practical cooperation and jointly uphold the big picture of bilateral relations.”
He was responding to a question on China’s response to Modi’s speech in which the Prime Minister said the country’s territorial integrity is supreme and vowed that India will build a strong military.
Modi, in the Independence Day address to the nation, had said that “whoever tried to threaten the sovereignty of our country right from the LOC to the LAC, the army of the country, our brave soldiers have given a befitting reply.”
He also said that the world has seen what “our brave Jawans can do in Ladakh, what the country can do to defend its resolve.”
The Prime Minister also said that India is fighting against terrorism and expansionism
The violent face-off between Indian and Chinese troops at Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh on 15 June left 20 Indian soldiers dead. Both the countries have been holding talks on disengagement.
The Ministry of External Affairs, in an official statement on 14 August, said India expects the “Chinese side to sincerely work with us towards the objective of complete disengagement and de-escalation and full restoration of peace and tranquility in the border areas as agreed by the Special Representatives.”
The statement also said that several meetings of the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on India-China Border Affairs (WMCC) and of senior commanders have taken place wherein both sides have discussed the implementation of the ongoing disengagement process and further steps to ensure it is completed at the earliest. MEA added that more meetings are likely to happen in the near future.