Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Thursday that the Doklam dispute had “affected and undermined” India-China ties but the consensus reached between their leaders on the sidelines of the BRICS summit was key to improving bilateral ties.

He recalled the “positive meeting” between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of BRICS summit in Xiamen this week.

“For past few months for clear reasons, China-India relations were affected and undermined,” Wang said in an obvious reference to the stand-off between the armies of the two nations at Doklam.

“Going forward, the two sides need to work together to follow up on the consensus reached by the two leaders and make sure bilateral relations will stay on track,” he said, stressing that bilateral ties should not be derailed and there should be no confrontation.

He said harmonious relations and win-win cooperation was “the natural choice right choice” for both countries.

The first top Chinese figure to speak on the issue after the resolution of the over two-month military stand-off between India and China in the Sikkim sector, Wang said: “We need to build strategic mutual trust and the two sides need to work to really look at each other as cooperative partners rather than be driven by an old-fashioned mindset and regard each other as rivals or threats.”

“Both sides need to remain committed to the five principles of peaceful coexistence and work together to properly handle disputes and also work together to maintain tranquility in border areas.”