After External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said that an Asian Century cannot cease to exist if India and China do not join hands, the Chinese Foreign Minister stated that China and India “have more common interests than differences.”

“China and India are two ancient civilisations, two major emerging economies and two neighbouring countries, we have far more common interests than differences. Both sides have the wisdom and capability to help each other succeed instead of undercutting each other,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said.

Earlier, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had said the relationship between India and China was going through an ‘extremely difficult phase’ after what Beijing had done at the border and emphasised that the Asian Century would not happen if the two neighbours could not join hands.

Jaishshankar’s remarks came while responding to a series of questions after delivering a lecture on ‘India’s Vision of the Indo-Pacific’ at the prestigious Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok on Thursday.

‘Asian Century can only happen when China and India achieve sound development’: Wang Wenbin

Meanwhile, reacting to Jaishankar’s comments, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin told the media in Beijing that, “a Chinese leader said once that if China and India cannot achieve sound development, then an Asian Century cannot happen”.

Wenbin further said that a true Asia Pacific Century or Asian Century can happen only when China and India and other countries can achieve sound development as China and India are two ancient civilisations, two emerging economies, and two big neighbours.

“It is hoped that the Indian side can work with China in the same direction to follow through on the common understanding between our two leaders on being each other’s cooperative partners, not causing threats to each other and presenting each other with development opportunities, so that China-India relations can come back to the right track of sound and steady development at an early date and uphold the common interest of China, India and the developing world,” Webin told reporters.

‘Smooth communication over border issues’

Responding to a question on whether China will hold talks with India on the disengagement at the remaining friction points in eastern Ladakh, Wang Wenbin said, “China and India maintain smooth communication over the border issues. The dialogue is very much effective”, PTI reported.

Notably, Chinese and Indian military personnel have been engaged in a prolonged standoff in eastern Ladakh which erupted on 5 May 2020, following a clash in the Pangong Lake areas. Both China and India have so far held 16 rounds of Corps Commander Level talks to resolve the standoff.

Additionally. speaking about China’s position on the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QU) – a partnership between India, Australia, the USA, and Japan – Wenbin said that the nation’s position on QU is consistent and clear. “I would like to stress that in a world of peace, cooperation and openness, there will be no support if one seeks to create small cliques because it is against the trend of times,” he said.