China’s new Foreign Minister Qin Gang, in an op-ed piece for US-based magazine, The National Interest, has indicated that Beijing seeks to improve ties with New Delhi.
Days before replacing Wang Yi, Qin in an article titled “How China Sees the World”, referred to India-China border issues and said, “both sides are willing to ease the situation and jointly protect peace along their borders.”
The Galwan Valley and Pangong Lake in the west of the LAC, have hosted flashpoints in recent years. In the east in Tawang, the site of the latest scuffle, there are discussions about Buddhist holy sites whose control can have implications for China’s authority over Tibet and its next spiritual leader according to a report in Newsweek.
Recently, India and China held the 17th Round of Corps Commander Level Meeting at the Chushul-Moldo border meeting point on the Chinese side on December 20 and agreed to maintain security and stability on the ground in the Western Sector.
“In the interim, the two sides agreed to maintain the security and stability on the ground in the Western Sector,” the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in a statement.
The MEA statement said the two sides agreed to stay in close contact, and maintain dialogue through military and diplomatic channels and work out a mutually acceptable resolution of the remaining issues at the earliest.
Qin, meanwhile also blamed the US for challenging the status quo on Taiwan, and Japan for altering the status quo in the South China Sea.
“China’s development means a stronger force for peace, not a growing power poised to ‘break the status quo’, as some call it. The tension across the Taiwan Strait was not created by the Chinese mainland breaking the status quo, but by ‘Taiwan independence’ separatists and external forces continually challenging the status quo of ‘one China’,” Qin wrote.
“In the case of the East China Sea, it was Japan who attempted to ‘nationalize’ Diaoyu Dao ten years ago, altering the “status quo” between China and Japan by agreeing to put aside differences. In the South China Sea, the status quo is that regional countries are consulting on a code of conduct that will lead to meaningful and effective rules for the region,” he wrote.
Earlier, United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken, in a phone call with Qin, discussed the Washington-Beijing ties and keeping the lines of communication open.
Taking to Twitter, Blinken said, “Spoke by phone this morning with incoming People’s Republic of China Foreign Minister Qin Gang as he departs Washington for his new role. We discussed the US-PRC relationship and maintaining open lines of communication.”
Qin, who was China’s ambassador to the United States, was appointed as the country’s new foreign minister on Friday.
This decision was made by the 13th National People’s Congress (NPC) Standing Committee, Global Times reported.
Qin, 56, replaced Wang, who is now a Member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and State Councillor, the report added.
On Thursday, the Chinese ambassador had warned Washington that it could face “military conflict” with Beijing over the future status of Taiwan.
“If the Taiwanese authorities, emboldened by the United States, keep going down the road for independence, it most likely will involve China and the United States, the two big countries, in a military conflict,” Qin told US-based publication NPR in his first one-on-one interview since assuming his post in Washington, last July.
Qin, who arrived in Washington last year at a time of bipartisan discontent with China, told NPR that any idea of “changing China” was always “an illusion”.