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Don't suspect our efforts for better relations with India, Pak: China

Last updated on: June 24, 2011 16:58 IST

'China for closer relations with India and Pakistan'

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K J M Varma in Beijing

Seeking a 'new perspective' for establishing close China-India-Pakistan ties, the official think tanks in Beijing on Friday said that recent efforts by Beijing to have strong relationships with its two neighbours should not be viewed with 'suspicion'.

Outlining China's foreign policy perspectives in the next five years under the 12th five year plan, the Members of Foreign Policy Advisory Group said that China is seeking to have close relations with both India and Pakistan.

"Indeed we see improvement of relationship between India and Pakistan and we know you (India-Pakistan) are taking measures to solve differences," Ma Zhengang, who headed the Ambassador's group in FPAG, told a media briefing at the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

He along with Qu Xing, President of state-run China Institute of International Studies, addressed the media here to outline China's policy perspectives in next five years.

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'India, China and Pakistan should shake off cold war mentality'

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"China really hopes to see Indo-Pak relations improve and we are making our own efforts to promote mutual understanding between your two countries. If the bilateral (ties) between India and Pakistan can make breakthroughs it is a great pleasure for Chinese people too," Ma said answering a question on how China sees its role in South Asia, especially in the context of its close ties with Pakistan.

"So I think for all our three countries, China, India and Pakistan we should have new perspective concerning international situation and we should shake our cold war mentality," he said.

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Image: PM Manmohan Singh with Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao

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'Beijing enjoyed traditional friendship with Pakistan'

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"In China's relations with India and China relations with Pakistan, we should avoid cold war ideology," he said, adding that while Beijing enjoyed traditional friendship with Pakistan, the Sino-India ties also moved forward.

While pursuing further development of friendship with Pakistan, China is also working actively to promote friendship between China and India, Ma said. "So to be frank Chinese people do not wish to see suspicion from India or Pakistan concerning China's relationship with other country," he said.

He was apparently referring to apprehensions in India about 'all-weather' China-Pak friendship and similar anxieties in Pakistan over China's efforts to normalise ties with India.

Qu said China had close ties with both India and Pakistan until the 1962 Sino-India war that affected the relationship between Beijing and New Delhi.

"Back in 1950s, China indeed had struck a balance in its relations with India and Pakistan. The relationship with China and India was solidly based. But later the balance broke because of the border war and other reasons," he said.

"Starting from that China developed a very solidly based relationship with Pakistan. Therefore, during that time China indeed had a closer cooperation with Pakistan than India," he said.

However, after the improvement in relationship between China and India, 'we sincerely hope that we can move this bilateral relationship forward to have better relationship.

The best solution is that we should try to have such cooperation equal to that of China and Pakistan,' Qu said.

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Image: Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari and Chinese President Hu Jintao

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'Border issue more an emotional matter than a technical one'

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"China sincerely hopes we can see friendship and cooperation between India and Pakistan because China does not wish to (see) tension to the west of our country. The country which will gain from tension from India and Pakistan is not China. So that I do hope that you can believe that China is not targeting India," Qu said.

Both said suspicions about China's efforts to forge close ties with several of India's neighbours, including Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Maldives, with huge aid and infrastructure projects were wrong as it was only making efforts to improve relations with them. They also referred to various efforts by India and China to resolve the border dispute.

Stating that the border issue is more an 'emotional' matter than a technical one, they said good relations will improve public sentiments to resolve the problem with mutual concessions and adjustments.

"If we can win the general public support it may not be that tough (to resolve boundary dispute). So I do hope that friends from India can believe that China is not seeing India as rival," Qu said.

Image: An Indian army officer talks with a Chinese soldier at Nathu-la
Photographs: Reuters
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