Monday, December 4, 2023

Amid Visa Controversy With India, Chinese Diplomat Zha Liyou Advocates Enhancing Bilateral Relations

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In light of China’s refusal to grant visas to three Wushu athletes hailing from Arunachal Pradesh, an incident occurring just prior to the 19th Asian Games, Zha Liyou, the Consul General of China in Kolkata, expressed China’s willingness to collaborate with India to implement agreements made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping. These agreements are aimed at enhancing dialogue and fostering bilateral relations on a “healthy and stable track.”

Addressing an event celebrating the 74th anniversary of China’s founding, Zha Liyou emphasized the significance of maintaining a “stable and healthy” relationship between India and China, underscoring its fundamental importance to both nations and their peoples. He articulated, “A stable and healthy China-India relationship is in the fundamental interest of both countries and their peoples. The common development and revitalization of the two countries is related to the future of us, of Asia, and of the world.”

Zha Liyou went on to acknowledge the overall stability of the China-India relationship and the ongoing dialogue and communication between their leaders, citing two face-to-face interactions between President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Modi in the past year that led to significant consensus on stabilizing relations and guiding bilateral development.

He conveyed China’s commitment to working alongside India to actualize these important agreements and overcome any challenges or interferences, thereby promoting healthy and stable bilateral relations. Additionally, Zha expressed China’s eagerness to collaborate with all parties, including India, to contribute to global peace, development, and the preservation of the international order, emphasizing their roles as global actors with a broad vision and open-mindedness.

Highlighting the deep historical ties between the two nations, Zha Liyou noted their extended shared history and geographical proximity since ancient times. He emphasized the unique nature of the relationship, characterized by both countries being major nations with populations exceeding one billion, and identified them as significant emerging economies with promising development prospects. Zha celebrated the long-standing history of friendly exchanges between the peoples of China and India and anticipated continued cooperation in the centuries to come.

Regarding the successful Chandrayaan-3 moon mission, Zha expressed his excitement and pride, describing it as an achievement for all of humanity.

When asked about China’s refusal to grant visas to three athletes for the Asian Games, Zha Liyou suggested that this was a bilateral issue and recommended reaching out to the Chinese Embassy for further information.

In response to China’s denial of visas to the Arunachal Pradesh athletes, Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur criticized the move as discriminatory and contrary to the Olympic Charter. He deemed it “unacceptable” and canceled his planned visit to China in protest. Thakur asserted that Arunachal Pradesh is an integral part of India, and denying athletes from the region the opportunity to participate in the Asian Games was not acceptable to India.

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