New Delhi: In a direct response to remarks made by prime minister Narendra Modi that the age of expansionism is over, the Chinese embassy in New Delhi said it was “groundless” to describe China as "expansionist" and to “exaggerate and fabricate” its disputes with neighbours.
The statement claimed that China has peacefully demarcated the boundary with 12 of its 14 neighbours. This was veiled reference to India and Bhutan's still unresolved land-border issues with China.
However, China has unresolved maritime territorial disputes with Japan and some south-east Asian countries.
The Chinese Embassy spokesperson Ji Rong tweeted, “China has demarcated boundary with 12 of its 14 neighbouring countries through peaceful negotiations, turning land borders into bonds of friendly cooperation. It’s groundless to view China as ‘expansionist’, exaggerate and fabricate its disputes with neighbours.”
The sharply-worded criticism, albeit veiled, made by an embassy spokesperson of remarks made by the host country’s leader has raised eyebrows and indicates a sharp and deepening distrust between the two Asian giants.
The Chinese embassy’s criticism was a swift reaction; it came just hours after prime minister Modi made his remarks while addressing troops in Ladakh.
In Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian also said somewhat ominously that “India should avoid a strategic misjudgement on China,” calling on the two countries “to jointly maintain peace and tranquillity in border areas and safeguard bilateral ties”.
Relations between the two nuclear-armed neighbours have sharply deteriorated especially after the deadly clash between troops in Galwan Valley in the Ladakh sector in mid-June.
Apart from handling the tense border situation with India, China meanwhile has also been busy in denying human rights violations both in its western Xinjiang province and in Hong Kong, and has been accusing western nations of carrying out propaganda against it....