China should show sensitivity on core issues : India

Written by ASHOK B SHARMA | New Delhi | Updated: Dec 4 2010, 23:11pm hrs
Reiterating Indias genuine concerns over some aspects of China-Pakistan relationship, the Foreign Secretary, Nirupama Rao, today said India-China relationship will grow even stronger as China shows more sensitivity on core issues that impinge on Indias sovereignty and territorial integrity.

We hope this can be realised, the Foreign Secretary said, delivering the inaugural address at a seminar on China, organized by Observer Research Foundation in New Delhi.

The Foreign Secretary reiterated Indias genuine concerns regarding some aspects of the China-Pakistan relationship, particularly when it comes to Chinas role in the Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK), Chinas Jammu and Kashmir policy and the China-Pakistan security and nuclear relationship

Setting the tone for Chinese Premier Wen Jiabos visit to India later this month, the Foreign Secretary called for effective management of the elements of competition in the bilateral relationship and building upon the elements of congruence.

I believe this is a big relationship with the clear possibility of an ambitious agenda of mutual engagement that will be one of the most important bilateral equations of our new century It is in our interest to view it in a more wide-angled and high definition manner than ever before, the Foreign Secretary said.

As our interests get progressively more complex, the costs of any withdrawal from engagement will rise, the Foreign secretary added.

The Foreign Secretary underlined that six decades of India-China relationship has a chequered record with the border remaining largely peaceful despite disputes.

She said contradictions are sought to be managed, and our differences have not prevented an expanding bilateral engagement and building on congruence.

There are both challenges that the relationship confronts us with and also there are opportunities before it, the Foreign Secretary said, adding for India, the situation is complex since China is not only our largest neighbour but also because China is today a major power in the world both from the traditional geo-political point of view and the more current geo-economic point of view.

The foreign Secretary said she was of the view that neither India nor China has the luxury of seeing each other in antagonistic terms. The view that India and China are rivals to me is an over-generalisation as well as over-simplification of a complex relationship which encompasses so many diverse issues, she said.

The reality is that India and China have worked hard over the last two decades to enhance dialogue in a number of fields and we must maintain and build on that trend, she said.

The Foreign Secretary said it is true that divergences persist and there is no denying the fact that we have a disputed border. This is a complex problem and the cartographies that define national identity are internalized in the minds of people in both countries.

She said both the countries are making a serious attempt to arrive at a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable solution to the boundary question as the recent 14th round of talks testify. The absence of a solution to the question is not due to lack of efforts but arises from the difficulty of the question, she added.

Saying that management of trans border rivers is a concern to India, the Foreign Secretary said China has assured that its projects on Brahmaputra river will not affect its water flow to India. She said India looks forward to working closely with China in this critical area of environmental and livelihood safety.