India on Friday said sanctioning of well-known terrorist leaders and organisations besides developmental issues like access to cooperation and investments in the field of civil nuclear energy should not emerge as points of difference with a “partner” like China.
Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar said that China is expected to be appreciative of India’s interests, especially when they are not in conflict with those of Beijing, and noted that it is imperative for the future of Asia and the world, that the two nations approach each other with strategic maturity.
He admitted that bilateral ties with China were “complicated” but stressed that one should not approach the relationship as a zero sum game.
“There is an expectation in India that a partner like China would be appreciative of India’s interests, especially when they are not in conflict with those of China.
“Combating terrorism is one such area and sanctioning of well-known terrorist leaders and organisations should not emerge as an issue of difference. Nor should reservations on developmental issues, such as India’s predictable access to international cooperation and investments in the field of civil nuclear energy,” he said speaking at a conference here.
Jaishankar was referring to China blocking India’s bid to put Pakistan-based terrorist Masood Azhar’s on UN Security Council blacklist of groups linked to al-Qaeda or Islamic State and India’s entry in the Nuclear Suppliers Group.
Admitting that India and China have a “complicated relationship”, the Foreign Secretary said one should not ignore the collaborative and convergent side of the ties as well.
Sino-Indian ties are a subject of heightened attention. Part of the reason is the weight of history that this particular relationship carries on its shoulders, he said.
Some of it also arises from the great potential that it holds and the impact that its direction could have on regional and global politics.
“The report card of our ties for the last three decades is much stronger than many assume,” he said.
Noting that from a situation of limited contacts and content, India-China relations have today transitioned out of their state of abnormalcy, Jaishankar said one must give due credit to the efforts of successive governments on both sides who have ensured peace and tranquillity on the border, even as negotiations on its settlement continue.
“Difficult problems, some of them pertaining to sovereignty, have not been side-stepped,” he said.