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New Delhi: Outgoing Chinese envoy to India Sun Weidong in his farewell address has stressed the need to manage and resolve differences between India and China and uphold the principle of non-interference in each other’s internal affairs.

Sun, who assumed office in July 2019, is leaving at a time when the two sides continue to manage ties, following the Ladakh border clash in 2020 that has remained the dominant issue between the two sides.

In his farewell remarks posted on the Chinese embassy website, Sun said it is only natural for important neighbours China and India to have some differences but the key is how to handle the differences. “We should be aware that the common interests of the two countries are greater than differences,” the envoy said.

“…the two sides should strive to manage and resolve differences, and look for a proper solution through dialogue and consultation, instead of defining China-India relations by differences. The two countries need to respect each other’s political systems and development paths, and uphold the principle of non-interference in each other’s internal affairs,” he said.

Explaining the common grounds between China and India, the envoy said the friendship between the two neighbours dates back to ancient times and both countries are ancient oriental civilizations adjacent to each other for thousands of years.

“As the only two countries with over one billion population in the world, China and India are both at a critical period of national development and rejuvenation. The daunting tasks in our development endeavor of our two countries are unparalleled,” he said.

The Chinese envoy said that both India-China should break out of the “geopolitics trap” and find a new path that is different from the past.

“There is enough room in the world for China and India to develop together, and two countries and peoples should have enough wisdom to find a way to live in peace and achieve win-win cooperation between the two big neighboring and emerging countries,” Sun said.

Recalling Chinese President Xi Jinping’s 2019 India visit, the outgoing Chinese envoy said,” “Over the past three years, I have had the honor to receive President Xi Jinping in Chennai for the second informal meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.”

Since April 2020, India and China have had several rounds of diplomatic and military level meeting on the situation along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), in the India-China border areas.

India has repeatedly emphasised said that India-China relations cannot be normal unless the border situation is and added that if China disturbs the peace and tranquillity in border areas, it will impact the relations further.

“We have maintained our position that if China disturbs the peace and tranquillity in border areas, it will impact our relations. Our relationship is not normal, it cannot be normal as the border situation is not normal,” External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said at a Bengaluru event in August.

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