Playing down recent border stand off in Ladakh ahead of Premier Li Keqiang’s visit to India,China today said the two sides have the ability to prevent such issues from affecting overall growth of ties,while working “very hard” to find a solution at an “early date”.
“There are some historical issues between India and China including the boundary question. The consensus of the two countries and leaders is that we have more overlapping interests than differences and we have more cooperation than competition,” Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Song Tao said.
Besides being ancient civilisations and emerging markets,both the countries “have the wisdom and resourcefulness to properly manage our differences”,he said briefing the media about Li’s three-day visit to New Delhi and Mumbai starting from May 19.
“For that we have the ability to prevent these differences from affecting overall growth of our relations,” he said answering a question.
“We both are working very hard to find a solution to this (boundary issue at an early date. I think through the concerted efforts of the two sides we have made positive progress in addressing the issue,” he said. The new Premier who has chosen India to be first stop of his maiden overseas visit would also go to Pakistan,Switzerland and Germany after that.
The fact that Premier Li has chosen India as one of the countries on his first overseas trip shows the importance the new government attaches to China-India relations,Song said.
During his stay in New Delhi,Li will hold talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on bilateral ties and issues of mutual interest and also meet President Pranab Mukherjee. He will make a speech on India-China relations and also attend China-India business summit and other important activities,Song said.
The two countries also will sign several agreements to further cooperation in various areas,he said without giving any details. “I believe with concerted efforts from both sides Li’s visit will produce fruitful results,” he said.
Answering a question,Song also said Indian government too has “put in a lot efforts” to make Li’s visit successful. Referring to the recent visit of External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid here,he said,”the Indian side also attaches great importance to Premier Li’s visit and believes that the visit will inject strong impetus to China and India relations”.
The purpose of Khurshid’s visit was to make preparations for Li’s upcoming visit to India and to make sure that the visit will be a productive one.
“I am sure that through the joint of efforts of both sides the visit will take China India relations to higher level,” he said.
Song said China has always regarded its relations with India as one of the most important bilateral relations.
“We whole heartedly hope that China and India can become important partners,jointly pursing development and sharing prosperity and common endeavour harmonious world,” he said.
The purpose of Li’s visit is to further consolidate strategic and cooperative partnership between China and India,further increase political mutual trust and expand and deepen practical cooperation in various fields. Referring to new Chinese President Xi Jinping’s meeting with Singh on the sidelines of the BRICS summit in Durban in March and telephone talk between Li and Singh after the leadership transition in China,Song said frequent interaction between the top leaders showed the level of importance attached by two governments to take the ties to a new high.
China hope that Li’s visit will further strengthen strategic and cooperative partnership with India and advance our cooperation in mutual investment,trade and infrastructure and other areas and bring the two markets closer so as to leverage complementarity,he said.
On the boundary issue,Song said,”India and China should make joint efforts to make our cooperation successful and manage the differences and make contribution to peace and prosperity of the Asian region.”
“We have a number of mechanism available for resolving the boundary question”,which included the designated Special Representatives dialogue which held 15 rounds talks,he said.
“We have signed the parameters for the boundary question and we have reached a consensus on the framework for settling this issue,” he said asserting that China had settled boundary issues with many of its neighbours.
“We are committed to resolving the boundary question with India through friendly consultation and we will work with Indian side to make full use of the available mechanisms together to find a fair,reasonable solution that is acceptable to both sides,” he said.
“Of course pending the boundary settlement of boundary question it is also important to ensure peace and tranquillity in the border regions so that it will not affect the growth of the bilateral relations,” he said. Chinese troops intruded 19 kms into Indian territory in Daulat Beig Oldi (DBO) sector in the Depsang Valley in Ladakh on April 15,triggering a row. The three-week stand off ended on May 5 when Chinese troops withdrew to their original position following intense round of talks at various levels.