China’s envoy to India has said that New Delhi and Beijing should cooperate and resolve differences over the border dispute through consultation and dialogue. “It is normal for countries to have differences. Border disputes are a legacy of history and should be placed in the right place in bilateral relations,” Ambassador Sun Weidong said while speaking at an online interaction with Indian youth leaders on June 8. The comments were reported by Hindustan Times.

The comments come in the backdrop of the Chinese air force reportedly carrying out a big aerial exercise from its airbases opposite eastern Ladakh recently which was watched closely by the Indian side.

Around 21-22 Chinese fighter aircraft, mainly including the J-11 which are Chinese copy of the Su-27 fighters, and a few J-16 fighters held an exercise opposite the Indian territory in Eastern Ladakh, news agency ANI said quoting Defence sources on June 8.

“China and India should respect each other, treat each other equally and properly resolve their differences to find a solution acceptable to both sides,” Sun said, adding, the two neighbouring countries should concentrate on dealing with the epidemic and reviving the economy.

Many reports suggested that India is keeping a watch on Chinese training areas that are at a depth of 1,000 km to 1,500 km from the contested Line of Actual Control (LAC).

The developments come at a time when the two sides are negotiating a  disengagement process to pull back troops and weapons from friction points along the LAC in eastern Ladakh.

On May 28, Chief of Army Staff Gen M Naravane said that the troops were on high alert as the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) continued to base its troops and mechanised elements in its “immediate depth” across the LAC from where they could be deployed to forward areas at short notice.