Sikkim standoff: Border row won’t affect economic, cultural ties, says China
New Delhi: The “long-standing” economic and cultural ties between India and China will not be affected due to a standoff between their armies in the Sikkim sector, a Chinese embassy official said here on Monday.
“India and China have enjoyed historical and cultural connections over thousands of years. And, be it trade or other relationships, we have been establishing ties. This border issue, I reckon, is temporary. And it will not affect our long-standing economic and cultural ties,” the official said on conditions of anonymity as she was not authorised to speak to media.
She was speaking on the sidelines of a pre-Expo promotional event here. The troop impasse is in the Doklam area, near Sikkim. Tension on the border built up after a Chinese army construction party attempted to build a road in the region three weeks ago.
Incidentally, India-China Economic and Cultural Council (ICEC), a non-for-profit organisation, which has been partnering with the local government of Dongguan City in China’s Guangdong Province since 2014 for annual event—21st Century Maritime Silk Road International Expo—on Monday renewed its partnership with the Chinese side to participate in the flagship event.
“My dear Chinese friends, India is much bigger than what you see on TV screens. Don’t believe what the private channels are showing you or the commentators they bring in for their shows. Most of it is rhetoric. Believe only what the Indian government tells or any of its ministers or foreign ministry,” secretary general of ICEC, Mohd Saqib, said in his address at the promotional event.
“What unfortunate things you are reading in media or seeing on TV (about the border issue), it is going to be pass very soon. India and China have been friends and feel welcome in our country. And, I tell the same things to Indian delegates planning to attend this exposition, do not feel insecure,” he added.
The event was attended by a Chinese delegation from Dongguan City, ICEC officials, representatives of few industry associations, among others. Deputy secretary-general of the People’s Government of Dongguan City Chen Qingsong in his address also welcomed Indian delegates to attend the exposition, while asserting that tourism inflow between India and Dongguan has been “on the rise”.
“In 2016, the expo attracted participation from 73 countries and regions along the Maritime Silk Road. A total of 104 Indian exhibitors took part in the event, reaching a sales volume of $63 million,” he added.
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