A couple of days after India blocked Chinese automaker BYD’s $1 billion bid to set up an electric vehicle (EV) factory in the country, Beijing’s top diplomat has urged New Delhi to rethink the decision, adding that the two countries were not ‘threats’ to each other.
Wang Yi, whose position within the Communist party ranks above that of a foreign minister, met India’s National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval and called for policies to “enhance strategic mutual trust” and “focus on consensus and cooperation”, according to a readout released by the Chinese foreign ministry. The meeting took place on the sidelines of a gathering of BRICS members in Johannesburg, South Africa on Monday (July 24).
“Whether China and India support or exhaust each other will directly affect the two countries’ respective development processes and the global landscape,” Wang reportedly told Doval, according to Chinese mouthpiece Global Times.
The top diplomat added that Beijing was not looking to follow the old world order of ‘seeking hegemony’.
“China will never tread the old path of seeking hegemony taken by some countries. It is willing to work together with a vast number of developing countries, including India, to support multilateralism and democratization of international relations,” Wang emphasized.
“Wang Yi said that China and India should adhere to the strategic judgment that the two countries are not threats to each other but opportunities for each other’s development,” the publication noted.
The Chinese leader added that both countries should put “relations back onto a track of healthy and stable development at an early date”.
Notably, last week, India rejected the Chinese EV giant’s proposal to build EVs as well as electric batteries in the lucrative Indian market, in partnership with an Indian company Megha Engineering and Infrastructure Ltd., citing ‘security concerns’.
“Security concerns with respect to Chinese investments in India were flagged during the deliberations,” an Indian official was quoted as saying by the Economic Times. Another official cited ‘existing guidelines’ to claim that such Chinese investments were not possible.
Currently, BYD has plans to sell at least 15,000 units of EVs in the Indian market in 2023. Despite the rejection, the company plans to expand its distribution network in India and upgrade manufacturing capacity.
(With inputs from agencies)