Chinese community residing in Shimla calls for peace between Beijing and New Delhi amid border tensions

Shimla (Himachal Pradesh) [India], June 27 (ANI): The Chinese community residing in the hilly town of Shimla say they take pride themselves being called Indians and have called for peace between India and China amid border tensions.

John, an Indian citizen of Chinese origin who runs a shoe store at a mall road of the city told ANI that his "family feels more Indian than Chinese." He speaks fluent Hindi and English.

"I am happy to be a part of this beautiful city Shimla. Customers here like me and my family. We have been are running this store since the 1950s. We using indigenous material to manufacture our products," he said

"The present face-off between Indian and Chinese troops has not changed the perception of local people towards us. I feel and wish the relationship between Indian and China should be more conducive and this issue should not be politicised. The matter should be resolved by bilateral talks" he said.

Inderjeet Singh, Shimla Beopar Mandal president said he has been seeing people like John right from childhood.

"Now as a councillor, I meet them on a daily basis as they belong to my ward. They are locals and their production is also indigenous. Everyone likes them. We never saw them as Chinese. They are Indians," he said.

"I also suggest we will have to become self-reliant before boycotting Chinese products. There are around 97 per cent Chinese items in our markets and this cannot be boycotted until we start our own production in India," Singh added.

India and China have been involved in talks to ease the ongoing border tensions since last month. However, last week as many as 20 Indian soldiers lost their lives in a violent face-off in the Galwan Valley after an attempt by the Chinese troops to unilaterally change the status quo during the de-escalation in eastern Ladakh. (ANI)