India and China have made "considerable progress" on the boundary question a resolution for which will be time-consuming, External Affairs Minister SM Krishna said on Tuesday while asking both sides to adopt a patient approach and show maturity in dealing with outstanding issues.
"It is going to be a time consuming affair and one has to be patient to deal with it. The special representatives are aware of their responsibilities and we hope a mutually acceptable solution can be arrived at," he said while addressing a prominent think-tank in Beijing.
He said "Even on an issue like the unresolved boundary question that is often the subject of media speculation, it is always not appreciated that considerable progress has actually been made," he said.
National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon will be India's representative at the next round of boundary talks with senior State Councillor Dai Bingguo. The two sides have so far held 13 rounds since the mechanism was established in 2003.
On a four-day maiden visit, Krishna, who is accompanied by Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao, reached out to China saying a strong and stable relationship between the two countries has global consequences.
He said the two countries are striving to "rewrite" the rules of the world in their favour and that the two were not rivals.
Presenting an upbeat picture of Sino-Indian ties, which saw a bitter war of words over Arunachal Pradesh last year, Krishna said the bilateral issues are "under total control" and the two countries have evolved a mechanism to find a solution to issues like boundary demarcation.
Advocating a patient approach to resolve the longstanding boundary dispute, Krishna said "the true test of our maturity" lies in the way the two countries manage their differences.
"We have to accept that there will be outstanding issues between the two countries even as our relationship forges ahead. This is in the very nature of global politics and we should not get discouraged as a result," he said.
He said as rising powers, India and China are often projected to have a "competitive relationship" but it depends on the two neighbours to craft out their own course.
"In the final analysis, we all are what we want to be. It is upto us to disprove such scenarios, not through platitudes and wishful thinking, but by concrete examples of cooperation," he said.
"A strong and stable relationship between India and China has consequences for the entire world. Because we are different, our divergences are often exaggerated. If truth be told, there are vested interests at work too," he said.