China’s foreign minister said Wednesday he hopes India can “learn lessons” from a recently resolved border standoff and avoid such occurrences in the future, as the leaders of the two Asian giants prepare to meet next week for a summit in southeastern China.
Wang Yi’s remarks came after the countries agreed Monday to pull back their troops from a disputed Himalayan plateau where China, India and Bhutan meet.
“We’re hoping that their side will learn lessons from this incident and prevent some of the things from happening again. We hope that through the efforts of both sides we will maintain healthy and stable relations,” Wang said.
Neither side has offered details of how the standoff was resolved, and China says it could resume road construction that sparked the confrontation after Indian troops moved in to block the work.
The resolution appeared to have been timed to prevent the most serious confrontation between the nuclear-armed neighbors in decades from overshadowing of a summit in the city of Xiamen next week that Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi are set to attend. The leaders of Russia, Brazil and South Africa are also due to attend the annual meeting of the BRICS grouping of emerging economies.
Both India and China said their troops would continue to patrol in the Doklam area as they did before the face-off.
Foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Tuesday that China would make its plans according to the situation on the ground and would continue to uphold its territorial integrity.
Doklam is claimed by the tiny kingdom of Bhutan, a close Indian ally, but Beijing says it belongs to China based on an 1890 Chinese-British treaty. Bhutan and China have held several rounds of talks but have not made progress in resolving the border dispute.
China and India fought a brief war in 1962 and dispute large chunks of territory.