BEIJING: China on Wednesday congratulated former Indian envoy Vijay Gokhale on becoming Indias Foreign Secretary — the countrys top diplomat– and hoped that ties between the two countries will move forward.
Gokhale, who served as India’s Ambassador to China until October last year, played a crucial role in resolving the worst-in-decades military stand-off at Doklam.
Gokhale, an old “China hand” and a Mandarin speaker, took over as Foreign Secretary on Monday, succeeding S. Jaishankar who has also served as India’s envoy in China.
Gokhale was succeeded by Gautam Bambawale, a former Indian envoy to Pakistan. He too is well versed with China.
“We have noted this report and we congratulate Gokhale for taking over as Foreign Secretary,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said.
She was replying to a question whether Gokhale’s China experience will “surmount” the problems in Sino-Indian bilateral ties.
“The two diplomatic departments have followed our leaderships’ consensus to advance our bilateral relations and we hope to carry on this sound cooperation.
“We will work with Indian side to follow the five principles of peaceful co-existence and enhance our political trust and take forward our relations on the right track.”
Sino-India ties took a nosedive last year when their armies faced-off each other for over two months at Doklam in the Sikkim section of their border.
The crisis was resolved in August.