Contending that India and China were capable of managing their relations despite differences, National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon on Thursday said the two countries needed to grasp the opportunities offered by their economic transformation and evolving global situation.
Delving elaborately on Sino-Indian relations at a lecture in New Delhi, he said there was a marked similarity of goals and the two countries should "actively consider together the next steps" in the evolution of their ties and evolve "a detailed framework for resolution of the boundary issue in a manner that is politically feasible for both leaderships".
The former Foreign Secretary said the two countries have already found the 'modus vivendi' (agreeing to disagree) to deal the boundary issue and to manage their different approaches to issues where their peripheries overlap.
"India and China both cooperate and compete at the same time because of their interests and how they perceive the balance of power and situation around them," Menon said at a seminar organised by Indian Council for World Affairs to commemorate 60th anniversary of India-China diplomatic ties.
"While there may be differences in method and choice of tools, in most cases there is a marked similarity of goals," he said, adding "Naturally, the bilateral modus vivendi which has been in place for some time may need to be reworked periodically in the light of developments in our countries and around us."
Menon said there was space in Asia and the world for both India and China to grow and develop and "for us to do so in a way that is mutually-reinforcing, if we both wish it."
As the two countries continue to pursue their interests, he said, "We also have the experience and ability in India and China to continue to manage our relationship successfully."
He said it was "only on the basis of informed and supportive public opinion that we would be able to grasp the opportunities and move forward on the ambitious agenda that awaits India-China relations, the pursuit of which would place India-China relations on a sound footing for the 21st century."