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China-India bilateral talks on border conflict not likely during BRICS FMs meeting

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BEIJING: China on Thursday ruled out any possibility of bilateral talks between Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his Indian External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar during BRICS Foreign Ministers meeting on the current border conflict as it would only focus cooperation among the member states and international situation.

“The meeting will focus international situation and BRICS cooperation. I am not aware of any separate meeting between the Chinese and Indian sides,” Chinese Foreign Ministry’s Spokesperson Hua Chunying said during her regular briefing.

Wang Yi and foreign minister of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa will attend the meeting via video link at the invitation of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Friday.

While reacting to India’s ban on Chinese apps, she said that India’s ban against Chinese apps not only damaged the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese investors and service providers, but also harmed the interests of Indian consumers.

“The Indian side decided to ban some great and popular Chinese apps. Indian user’s rights and interest are first harmed. And, Chinese business’s rights and interests will also be harmed. So, What India has done is not beneficial to anyone,” she added.

India on Wednesday banned over 100 Chinese mobile apps, including wildly popular mobile game PUBG, amid fresh border tension between the two countries.

Hua Chunying said she had noted that the US state department on the same day said that India banned more than 100 Chinese apps and called on other countries to join India to roll out the clean network initiative.

“So, I don’t know if there is any co-relation or interaction between India and the US. But India is an ancient civilization with wise people. They should know what the US has done in Cyber Security for example Dirtbox, Prism, Irritant Horn, Muscular and under-sea cable tapping. Indian people must have the wisdom to tell whether the US practice on Cyber security is clean or dirty,” she added.

The spokesperson said that the Chinese side hoped India could stay committed to its precious independence decision making, adding, “We hope the people of China and the people of India can conduct normal exchange or cooperation in all sectors. And they should not, because of temporary short sightedness hurt the long-term interests of both countries and the peoples”.

She observed that there had been some unfriendly voices in India drawing some concern and added, “As I said both are ancient civilizations with splendid cultures that we are proud of, and the exchange between the two sides have been going on for thousands of years”.

Giving example of Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore she said, Tagore’s many poems were popular in China.

“Also, Yoga is becoming more and more popular in China including myself, I am very fond of Indian culture. But we do not think that Indian culture or the poems or other things are infiltrating here or are posing any threat to Chinese culture,” she added.

Hua Chunying believed that the intermingling of different cultures was conducive to promoting people’s mutual understanding and friendship.

“So, we hope that the Indian side can bear in mind the two-people’s friendship and long-term interests and work to promote bilateral exchange and cooperation. We believe that the Indian people have this self-confidence in their culture,” she added.

Meanwhile, commenting on banning of over 100 Chinese mobile apps, Gao Feng, spokesperson of Chinese Ministry of Commerce said that the Chinese government had always required Chinese overseas companies to abide by international rules and operate in compliance with laws and regulations.

India’s ministry of electronics and information technology alleged that the 118 banned mobile applications were “prejudicial to the sovereignty, integrity, defense of India and public order.”

He said that economic and trade cooperation between China and India was mutually beneficial and win-win.

He hoped that the two countries would jointly maintain the hard-won cooperation and development situation and create an open and fair business environment for international investors and service providers, including Chinese companies.

According to Ji Rong, counselor and spokesperson for the Chinese embassy in New Delhi, China had lodged solemn representation to the Indian side and asked the Indian side to correct its wrongdoings.

“Practical cooperation between China and India is mutually beneficial,” Ji said in a statement. “Deliberate interference in such cooperation will not serve the interests of the Indian side”.

M M Alam

M. M. Alam is a Pakistan-based working journalist since 1981. Karachi University faculty gold medalist Alam began his career four decades ago by writing for Dawn, Pakistan’s highest circulating English daily. He has worked for region’s leading publications, global aviation periodicals including Rotors (of USA) and vetted New York Times as permanent employee of daily Express Tribune. Alam regularly covers international aviation and defense-related events including Salon Du Bourget (France), Farnborough (United Kingdom), Dubai (UAE). Alam has reported thousands of events and interviewed hundreds of people in Pakistan, UAE, EU, UK and USA. Being Francophone Alam also coordinates with a number of French publications.