Sensitive issues remain, but ties on fast track: Chinese envoyMarch 7th, 2008 - 3:40 pm ICT by admin
New Delhi, March 7 (IANS) Though “sensitive issues remain”, India-China ties are growing rapidly, says Chinese envoy Zhang Yan, nearly a month after China protested against Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh. “Sensitive issues remain… But bilateral ties are expanding on fast track,” Chinese Ambassador to India Zhang Yan said here Thursday evening in a veiled reference to the recent Chinese protest against Manmohan Singh’s visit to India’s northeastern state Arunachal Pradesh, which China claims as part of its territory.
Stressing that China and India are partners in development instead of rivals, Zhang said: “There is enough space for the two countries to grow and prosper together.”
“Maybe, there are people who are not quite happy about the current development of our bilateral relations. However, the growth of friendship and cooperation between our two peoples and two countries is a trend of time.”
The two countries are currently engaged in resolving their differences over the boundary question by arriving at an agreed framework, based on guiding principles and political parameters finalised during Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao’s visit to India in 2005.
Alluding to the quantum jump in bilateral trade to $40 billion and the opening of the Indian consulate in Guangzhou, the Chinese envoy underlined constructive steps taken by the two countries to take their ties to new heights.
“As fastest growing economies, India-China relations are central to economic development of the world. It provides powerful opportunities for the betterment of both countries,” he said at a function organised by the NGO The Unity International Foundation.
The opening of the Indian consulate in the economically vibrant region of Guangzhou, India’s third mission in China indicates the growing warmth in bilateral ties.
The consulate was set up as part of a decision taken during the 2006 visit of Hu Jintao where China opened a consulate in Kolkata and India in Guangzhou. The Indian office was set up in October 2007. But this week, it started operations in its own premises.
Gautam Bambawale has been appointed India’s consul-general in Guangzhou.
Saying that China attaches great importance to developing ties with India, the envoy said: “We hold that the two countries have more consensus than differences. We are ready to work (with India) to create favourable political conditions, increase mutual trust and seek new ways to expand economic and trade cooperation on the basis of equality and mutual benefits.”
“As major developing countries, India and China are concerned with special challenges like improving the lives of people and the challenges of globalisation,” the Chinese envoy said.
He described Manmohan Singh’s visit to China in January as “another milestone in the history of India-China relations,” that points to an upward trajectory in India-China relations.
“It has injected new impetus to the development of our bilateral relations and provided a historical opportunity for our two countries to work together for the betterment of our people and the world as a whole,” he added.
Quoting Chinese President Hu Jintao’s speech during Manmohan Singh’s visit to Beijing, he said: “Relations have gone beyond the bilateral context and have acquired a global character.”