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May 30, 2000
Co-operation essential: Narayanan
President K R Narayanan Tuesday called upon China to avail the opportunity of regulating relations with India after the end of cold war and emergence of a pluralistic world, based on the tradition of their age-old friendship.
He said cooperation between the two countries had become a historical necessity in the new century.
The president was addressing a gathering at Peking University after presenting a bust of national poet Rabindranath Tagore.
Tagore was one of the first Indian poets to have been invited by the university's association in 1924 to revive age old friendship between the countries.
Narayanan said both countries had broken out of economic stagnation and become ''a moving, changing and progressive economy'' thanks to the pursuit of economic reforms over two decades. The Chinese economy had witnessed the miracle of spectacular growth and was now recognised as a forward economy. India too had taken the route of liberalisation and had achieved substantial economic progress, he said.
On the long-standing border dispute, the president emphasised the need for perseverance in joint efforts to seek a ''fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable settlement'' of the boundary question within the framework of national interests and sentiments of the people in both countries.
He said the agreements concluded in 1993 and 1996 provided an institutionalised framework of peace and tranquility and promotion of confidence building measures in the border areas. ''We should strive together to make the border one of eternal peace, friendship and cooperation.''
Hinting that Beijing should back India's candidature for membership of the all powerful United Nations' Security Council, Narayanan said the council should be expanded and made more representative so that aspirations of all humanity could be effectively accommodated and realised.
Holding that in the new century cooperation between India and China had become a ''historical necessity'', Narayanan said fortunately economics and politics were converging today to provide a firm material foundation for achieving it.
Describing the present world order as multipolar with a unipolar predisposition, Narayanan warned developing nations of the danger of advanced globalisation extinguishing national sovereignties and creating a kind of uniform monolithic system.
These theories, he said, were unsustainable and destructive of a democratic world order.
Globalisation should not become the worldwide manifestation of the highest and subtlest form of capitalism, he said, adding that it should lead to a federation of friendly inter-dependent nations, where no one dominates or exploits another.
Narayanan attributed the misunderstanding between India and China, which arose in the late 1950s and early 60s, as a by-product of the psychology and circumstances of the cold war in the world. Now that the cold war was over and a pluralistic world was emerging both countries could regulate relations in the tradition of age-old friendship and brotherhood.
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