China is not an expansionist power or a "strategic threat" to India, Chinese ambassador Sun Weidong said today, underscoring the peaceful relations between the two nations over centuries. "We have never been aggressive and pursued own development at expense of other countries," tweeted the envoy, amid the ongoing disengagement process between Indian and Chinese armies in Ladakh.
Citing instances that have drawn criticism abroad, Mr Weidong added, "Taiwan, HongKong, Xinjiang, & Xizang affairs are totally #China's internal affairs & bear on #China's sovereignty & security. While China doesn't interfere in other country's internal affairs, it allows no external interference & never trades its core interests either".
More than China, an "invisible" virus can be a threat, said the ambassador, who worked closely with foreign minister S Jaishankar during his tenure as Ambassador in Beijing.
"It is short-sighted & harmful to deny long history of peaceful co-existence between #China & #India & portray our friendly neighbor for thousands of years as opponent & strategic threat due to temporary differences & difficulties," tweeted the envoy, while posting the key points of his address at a webinar on China-India relations.
Ties between the two nations have been under a lot of strain following the months-long stand-off on the Line of Actual Control -- the de-facto border.
After the June 15 clash at Ladakh's Galwan Valley, in which 20 Indian soldiers died in action and more than 70 were injured, there has been an economic backlash involving calls to boycott Chinese products and Chinese firms.
The government took a series of measures that included blocking of apps with Chinese links, placing restrictions on traders from nations sharing border with India and making the mention of the "Country of Origin" mandatory for sellers listing their products in a government website.
Mr Weidong today said the economies of China and India are "highly complementary, interwoven & interdependent".
Trade exchanges between the two nations should not become a "knockout" or a "zero-sum game deliberately suppressing others". Forced decoupling is against the trend & will only lead to a "lose-lose" outcome, he added.