A hotline between Prime Ministers of India and China is likely to be made operational soon, external affairs minister S M Krishna said on Monday.
He also observed that India-China ties are “grossly under-utilised and called upon the two nations to leverage their strengths while being sensitive to each other’s concerns to realise the true potential in the ties.
“While we accept that there are outstanding issues between the two large countries, we have to address each other’s concerns and sensitivities on issues impinging each other's security and well being,” he said at a seminar organised by the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the Congress party.
He said the different views between the two sides was often “exaggerated” and the countries should not just cooperate but must be seen doing so by the rest of the world.
Krishna said he hoped that China would provide a level playing field to Indian companies, particularly in pharmaceutical and IT sectors where they were facing hurdles restricting their access to the Chinese market. China is one of India's largest trading partners and the two countries hope to touch the $60 billion figure in bilateral trade soon.
On his part, CPC leader Zhou Yongkang said India's development is not a threat but an opportunity for China and the two sides should work together to further cement their strategic and cooperative partnership. “Likewise, China's development is an opportunity rather than a threat to India.”
Pointing out that the two countries were more interdependent on each other for global stability, he said it was all the more necessary for China and India to handle their relationship from a strategic height and long-term perspective.
The Chinese leaders also met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi during the day.