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We are not a border bully, Beijing tells Delhi

Beijing wants to bring back the focus in bilateral ties from the current tensions along the long disputed boundary to the ground reality that India and China need each other as trade and strategic partners in a fast-changing world. Reshma Patil reports.

world Updated: Sep 15, 2009 00:20 IST
Reshma Patil

Beijing wants to bring back the focus in bilateral ties from the current tensions along the long disputed boundary to the ground reality that India and China need each other as trade and strategic partners in a fast-changing world.

On Monday, China’s ministry of foreign affairs, which denies claims of Chinese airspace violations and incursions in border areas, sent a team to meet the Indian media based in Beijing. Their message: India is a partner and not a rival.

“China does not pose any threat to India,’’ said Sun Weidong, Deputy Director-general of the ministry’s Asian department. “For us, the biggest task is to develop ourselves so that 1.3 billion people can lead a good life. I don’t think it’s logical to say that when a country grows strong it will bully others.’’

The officials did not delve into the issue of reported Chinese incursions in the border areas, but emphasised the common ground India and China share on issues ranging from tackling the global recession to climate change. Sun pointed out that India and China share a bond as their growth alters a world ‘monopolised’ by a few developed nations.

“It’s in China’s interest to have a prosperous neighbour,’’ said Sun. “Both are developing nations, both need a peaceful surrounding environment".