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China pitches for peaceful cooperation with India

June 10, 2014 00:14 IST

Carrying a message of "peaceful cooperation" from his President for the new Prime Minister, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Monday exuded confidence that both the countries have the capabilities to deal properly with the contentious issues such as boundary dispute.

He also expressed his country's keenness to engage with the Indian leadership which has brought in a "new wind of change".

Effusive in his praise for Prime Minister Narendra Modi to whom he conveyed Chinese President Xi Jinping's message, Wang said that under his leadership, India will achieve greater development and progress while noting that there were more areas of complementarities than competitions and more common interest than differences.

Addressing a press conference at the end of his two-day visit during which he held a series of meetings with the top leadership in New Delhi, Wang said that during his deliberations the two sides have agreed to accord top priorities to each other and strengthen the high-level engagements.

"We will also continue to properly handle those questions left behind by the history so as to ensure that China-India friendship and cooperation remain the main trend of our bilateral ties," Wang said adding this boosted his confidence on the prospects of better ties between the two countries.

Asked about reports of sporadic incursions by Chinese Army in Chumar in Ladakh area, the Chinese leader said given the fact that the relevant boundaries are not demarcated, there will be some "unavoidable incidents" but efforts should be to properly handle them and not to allow escalation to impact the overall growth of the ties.

Asked about the President's address in which he said the government plans to engage energetically with China and work to further develop strategic and cooperative partnership, Wang said China has noted and appreciated it.

"Likewise, China also takes India as a priority," he said.

On the economic front, he said there was a lot of "untapped potential" between the two countries and pitched for enhanced efforts to look at inking of a bilateral free trade agreement.

China is ready to invest more in infrastructure and general manufacturing for which an open business environment and preferential treatment was required, Wang said.

In this regard, he talked about Chinese expertise in high speed rail network and construction of expressways. He said his country can benefit from India in IT software and services sector.

Asked about China's construction activities along the border areas, he said these reports often create misunderstanding due to lack of communication.

In this regard, he talked about various mechanisms put in place to maintain peace and tranquillity on the border which included border defence cooperation agreement (BDCA) and the special representative consultation to resolve the boundary issue.

He also hoped that "time will come sooner than later" when the boundary dispute will be resolved.

Image: Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that there will be some "unavoidable incidents" but efforts should be to properly handle them

Photograph: Reuters

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