Synergising the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) with India’s development strategies and reaching “early harvests of boundary talks” are top on the agenda in the Sino-Indian relationship, says the outgoing Chinese Ambassador to India Luo Zhaohui.
The Chinese side attaches great importance to its relations with India, and is willing to work with the forthcoming new government to make the relations better, Luo said Monday at a farewell reception that was attended by a number of diplomats, foreign policy experts and academicians.
Listing out the priorities in bilateral ties, Luo said the two sides should break the circle of ups and downs of bilateral ties and stabilise relations.
“We should handle the bilateral relations beyond management and actively reshape the bilateral relations. Third, we should focus on cooperation and narrow down the differences.
“Signing a bilateral friendship and cooperation treaty and free trade arrangement, reaching the early harvests of boundary talks, and synergising the BRI with the development strategies of India, are the highest priorities for our future cooperation,” he said.
The BRI was launched by President Xi when he came to power in 2013. It aims to link southeast Asia, central Asia, the Gulf region, Africa and Europe with a network of land and sea routes.
India has been boycotting the BRI to protest over the USD 60 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) being laid through the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
The CPEC, which connects Gwadar Port in Pakistan’s Balochistan with China’s Xinjiang province, is the flagship project of BRI.
Luo also called on the two sides to strengthen the cooperation and coordination in international and regional issues.
“We have common interests in upholding the process of globalisation, and against trade bullying. We should move forward the China-India plus cooperation mode,” the Chinese envoy said.
The envoy, who started his stint in India in 2016, played a crucial role in normalising ties between the two countries following the Doklam standoff in 2017.