Chinese envoy proposes action plan to resolve Sino-India differences

Chinese envoy proposes action plan to resolve Sino-India differences

Luo Zhaohui spoke of a 4-point program to further China-India cooperation

The Dollar Business Bureau

Extending an olive branch to India, Chinese envoy Luo Zhaohui proposed a four-pronged plan to resolve disputes, and further a friendly Sino-Indian bilateral cooperation.

“Firstly, start negotiation on a China-India Treaty of Good Neighbourliness and Friendly Cooperation. Secondly, restart negotiation of China-India Free Trade Agreement. Thirdly, strive for an early harvest on the border issue. Fourthly, actively explore the feasibility of aligning China’s ‘One Belt One Road Initiative, and India's 'Act East Policy',” Luo said, in his address to the United Service Institution on May 5, 2017.

While many sensitive issues, including China’s opposition to India’s Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) membership, have put daylight between the two nations, this move showcases China’s willingness to meet India half-way through. Speaking of NSG, Luo said that China is not opposed to India’s plea for membership provided India follows the standard procedure of admission. Sino-Indian relations have become increasingly stressed in the past year as China insists that India sign the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) as a precursory obligation to enter NSG, despite a relatively spotless record of non-proliferation maintained by India.

As China realises that its OBOR initiative would not be able to achieve the intended pan-Asian connectivity without India’s cooperation, it has finally come one step forward to appease India’s fears with regard to CPEC (China Pakistan Economic Corridor), an integral part of OBOR. Stating that China had no intention of interfering in India and Pakistan’s territorial disputes, Luo implied that the passing of CPEC via Pakistan occupied Kashmir is no threat to India’s sovereignty.

Citing ancient India-China cooperation with respect to Silk Road, Luo argued that India must extend the same kind of support to OBOR, calling the initiative a ‘major public product’ offered by China to the world.

Emphasising the necessity for regional stability, Luo also offered for China to act as an intermediary in the resolution of differences between India and Pakistan, albeit both the nations accept such a role being undertaken by China.

"Otherwise, how could we open up and develop? That's why we say, we are willing to mediate when India and Pakistan have problems. But the precondition is that both India and Pakistan accept it. We do this only out of goodwill. We do hope that there is no problem at all," Luo, who was China’s ambassador to Pakistan at the time of 26/11 Mumbai attacks, said.