China greets Gokhale on taking over as Foreign Secretary

China greets Gokhale on taking over as Foreign SecretaryBEIJING: Chinese Foreign Ministry today congratulated Vijay Gokhale for taking over as the new foreign secretary, saying it will work with its Indian counterpart in enhancing political trust and advance the bilateral ties in the “right track”.

Gokhale, regarded as China specialist, was Ambassador to China when the Dokalam crisis took place last year after which the relations between the two countries nosedived to a new low.

He took over from S Jaishankar as Foreign Secretary on January 28.

“We have noted this. We congratulate Gokhale for his taking over Foreign Secretary,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said replying to a question on Gokhale taking over as India’s top diplomat in a media briefing here.

She said the two diplomatic departments have “followed our leadership’s consensus to advance our bilateral relations and we hope to carry the sound cooperation.”

“We will work with the Indian side to follow the five principles of coexistence, enhance our political trust, move forward our relations in right track,” she added.

Gokhale conducted the key negotiations with the Chinese government to defuse the tense situation over Dokalam. He is said to have worked an understanding under which China agreed to halt building of the road objected to by India and withdrawal of troops from the standoff area.

The 73-day standoff took place when Chinese troops began building the road in the area claimed by Bhutan in June and it finally ended on August 28.

Gokhale later moved to the Ministry of External Affairs, where he took over as Secretary (Economic Relations) before being appointed as Foreign Secretary.-PTI

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