Terming China as an “old friend” of India, BJP has sought to assure Beijing that it will make efforts to resolve the boundary dispute through amicable dialogue and ensure “better” bilateral relations if the party wins the general election.
“Most foreign policies of any country never change with the change of establishment or government. As far as China is concerned, it is our old friend. Economies of both countries depend on each other’s trust,” BJP Vice President Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi told China’s state-run Global Times in an interview.
Pointing out that the previous BJP-led Vajpayee government had good relations with China and other countries, Naqvi said “If our party comes to power, we will ensure better relations with China”.
To a question whether the BJP will turn confrontational with China on the border issue if it wins the polls, Naqvi said “We are not a closed country. Our priority is to solve every issue through amicable dialogue”.
Naqvi’s interview came as pre-poll surveys projected the likelihood of the BJP-led NDA coming to power under the leadership of BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi.
The likelihood of Modi coming to power in New Delhi brought about mixed views in China. While official circles look at Modi positively as he had visited China twice as Chief Minister of Gujarat, where some top Chinese firms have made investments, others were
apprehensive that politically he could pursue a hardline policy towards China, especially on the border issue.
China had reacted guardedly to Modi’s poll campaign statements from Arunachal Pradesh in February where he asserted that the state which Beijing claims as Southern Tibet is an integral part of India and will remain so and that “no power can snatch it from us”.
Modi had said that “China should shed its expansionist policy and forge bilateral ties with India for peace, progress and prosperity of both the nations”.
China claims Arunachal Pradesh as Southern Tibet and considers it as part of the dispute over the 4,000-km Line of Actual Control between the two countries.