‘’The border dispute should be put aside while economic, cultural and student exchange should be increased”, said Professor Jio Haitao, Director of Chindian Studies at Jinan University, at Department of Defense and National Security Studies (DDNSS), Panjab University Tuesday. He spoke on the theme of ‘China-India Relation — The Status Quo and Prospects’.
He added there is a big gap in the number of Chinese citizens visiting India and vice-versa. The number of Chinese citizens visiting India every year is just one-fourth of the number of Indian citizens visiting China.
While most of the Chinese visit India as tourists, the majority of Indians visit China for business purposes. He spoke about the growing popularity of Indian food in China. ‘’China’s transformation is different from India’s as it attained freedom through a revolution and India, through a freedom struggle. In the 50’s, both nations had cordial relations. The border war was not deliberately engineered by China but happened due to misconceptions,’’ he said
Professor Haitao said, ‘Image of India in China is very positive. It is one of the most favoured nations there due to deep historical linkages to Buddhism. Many Chinese tourists come to India to visit various Buddhist holy sites. Most Chinese people know little or are unaware of the 1962 conflict and they view India through the prism of Buddhism.’’
China, he said, has made various concessions and compromises in its relations with India. He said India was of great strategic importance to China as most of its energy supplies and trade passed through the Indian Ocean Professor Haitao emphasised that China considers India as a rising power and not as a competitor or rival. Both countries can accelerate their growth through cooperation.