Chinese official allays fears over India-China economic ties

New Delhi, (IANS) Amid the current border standoff in the Sikkim sector of the India-China border, a top Chinese official has allayed fears of India-China economic ties being affected.

“Both India and China enjoy long cooperation as our lands are connected,” Li Rongrong, Second Secretary in the Economic and Commercial Counsellor’s Office of the Chinese Embassy in India said on Monday at a promotion conference of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road International Expo to be held in the city of Dongguan in the Chinese province of Guangdong from September 21 to 24.

Li said Chinese investments in India rose from $219 crore in 2000 to $7,000 crore in 2016.

Last year alone, Li said, foreign direct investment from China to India was over $100 crore.

She also referred to the On Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative of Chinese President Xi Jinping and said it resonated with India’s major infrastrcture projects like the East-West Corridor and the Indian Railways’ Diamond Quadrilateral.

The India-China Economic and Cultural Council (ICEC) signed a deal with the Dongguan municipal government for the expo during the event.

Chen Qingsong, Deputy Secretary-General of the Dongguan municipal government, said that 104 Indian companies attended the exposition last year and invited more Indian exhibitors to this year’s event.

Mohammad Sadiq, Secretary-General of the ICEC, said that the current border standoff was an issue that would pass off quickly.

He assured that despite an advisory issued by the Chinese Embassy in New Delhi, all Chinese businesspersons in India were safe as before.

Indian and Chinese forces are in a standoff position in the Doklam area of Bhutan where a large construction contingent of China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) entered on June 16 to apparently build a road there.

Both India and Bhutan have said that China was trying to unilaterally change a status quo that has been maintained at the Bhutan-China-India trijunction.

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