India Appoints New Ambassador, To China

India Appoints New Ambassador, To China


India Appoints New Ambassador, To China

Pradeep Kumar Rawat, an old China hand from the Indian Foreign Service has been selected to become the new Indian ambassador to China. He has been termed by the Indian media as a “China expert,”.

The new appointment should be welcomed by all though it is not likely to bring immediate changes to China-India relations. However it will certainly make a difference.

The appointment of a new ambassador has happened as a regular and routine turnover action which takes place periodically in any establishment. So there is no need for over-interpreting the appointment.

The current Indian ambassador to China Vikram Misri was appointed to the position in September 2018, which is the usual cycle for the Indian government to make new appointments. 

Rawat, currently Indian Ambassador to the Netherlands, will be India’s new envoy to China. According to public information, he served in Hong Kong and Beijing between 1992 and 1997, and started his second tenure in Beijing in 2003 as Counselor and ended in 2007 as Deputy Chief of Mission.

He is also fluent in Putonghua. Indian media said he is “calm by nature” and has “extensive knowledge on the bilateral relations between China and India.”

Although the appointment has not been confirmed, observers pointed out even if India sends a “China expert” envoy to Beijing, it is not likely to bring immediate changes to China-India relations. 

“A new ambassador appointment will not be a major factor to facilitate the two countries’ relations, The facilitation of bilateral relations still depends on the Indian government’s mindset toward China.” Commented a Chinese official.

Nonetheless, Rawat has witnessed the period when China-India relations were in a good shape, and he would realize that a good bilateral relation with is good for both China and India and also the world. Thus it is hoped that the new ambassador could play a further positive role pushing forward the development of China-India bilateral relations.

In recent years, China and India have been facing fractions over the LAC, as the two countries have different territory claims and even had armed conflicts. 

In October, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Western Theater Command released a statement saying that China has made tremendous efforts to ease and calm the border situation.

Even India has taken similar actions and China now must sit for talks and negotiations with an open mind.