China and India have enough space for the common development of both countries, a Chinese diplomat said on Tuesday.
Foreign ministry spokesperson Hong Lei was reacting to Indian foreign minister Salman Khurshid's statement said on Monday where he said that India had to wake up to the "new reality" of China's presence in areas New Delhi considers exclusive as both countries convert the relationship into a "meaningful partnership."
Hong was speaking at the regular press briefing in Beijing when he reacted to Khurshid's statement.
"Both Chinese and Indian leaders believe there is enough space in the world for the common development of China and India," Hong was quoted as saying by the state-run Xinhua news agency. He added that cooperative areas are also sufficient for the world's two largest developing countries.
"Sustainable, stable and healthy China-India ties will not only benefit both peoples but will also help to maintain peace, stability and prosperity in Asia and the world at large," Hong said.
He added that China was "willing to work with India so as to implement the consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries and engage in developing a bilateral strategic and cooperative partnership featuring equality, mutual trust and cooperation,"
Khurshid's statement and Hong's reaction comes within days of national security advisor Shiv Shankar Menon's visit to Beijing when he said that progress was being made in resolving the longstanding border issue in a "fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable" manner.
During his two-day visit, Menon had extensive talks with China's special representative for the border talks and State Councilor Dai Binguo.
He had also met the outgoing chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress.
Menon told Beijing-based Indian media that "a common understanding" on the border issue was reached during the six-hour talks with his outgoing Chinese counterpart, Dai.
The NSA said the talks were in the second stage of a three-stage process which had been agreed upon earlier. "The first stage was to work out the guiding principles. It resulted in the 2005 agreement on the political parameters and guiding principles for boundary settlement."
Both countries have also played down the recent controversy over the new Chinese passport where areas disputed between the two countries have been shown to be part of China. India had retaliated by embossing Chinese visa by its own version of the map.
Menon had said he didn't think that the passport issue was worth discussing.
"I don't think it is [worth discussing] on my level. There is more to life than visas and passports. They have always published their maps on their documents; we have always published our map on our document. It is their document. The visa is our document. It has been discussed between the two sides and each side has done what they have had to do."