Chinese minister: Must break the ‘strange cycle’ of bilateral disputes

Published on Nov 30, 2019 11:49 PM IST
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BySutirtho Patranobis

Beijing The simultaneous rise of India and China is the most important historical event in the 21st century, a senior Chinese minister has said, adding that the two should try to break the “strange circle” of ups and downs in bilateral ties instead of only attempting to control their differences.

As two large developing countries, India and China should seek common development, vice foreign minister Luo Zhaohui said this week at a high-profile bilateral thing-tank forum held in Beijing.

“The simultaneous rise of China and India is the most important historical event in the 21st century,” Luo, who was the Chinese ambassador to India before taking over as vice foreign minister, said.

“The two sides should go beyond the mode of controlling differences, break the strange circle of ups and downs in bilateral relations, enhance mutual trust, properly handle differences, seek common development, and explore a way for big developing countries to live peacefully and develop together,” Luo said in the keynote speech at the forum.

Luo was speaking at the fourth India-China Think-Tanks Forum held in Beijing on November 28-29, jointly organised by the Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA) and the influential Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS).

The Chinese foreign ministry released a statement on the forum including Luo’s speech. Reviewing the state of bilateral ties, Luo said in the “…new century, high-level exchanges between China and India are increasingly frequent, multilateral affairs are closely cooperated, (and the) cooperation potential has been gradually unleased, and people to people and cultural exchanges are in the ascendant”.

He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping have jointly given direction to the ties. “The two successful informal meetings between President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Modi in Wuhan and Chennai pointed out the direction for the development of bilateral relations,” Luo said.

Speaking at the forum, India’s deputy chief of mission, Acquino Vimal, brought up the issue counter-terrorism and the need for the two countries to jointly counter it. “The importance of a concerted fight against terrorism is not lost between the two countries. There is much greater cooperation between the two countries in recognising the menace of terrorism and the need to resolutely act against training, financing and supporting terrorist groups throughout the world in a non-discriminate manner. We cannot have double standards in dealing with this issue and have to work with determination to ensure that we provide for our people a peaceful, secure and a prosperous world,” Acquino said.

Besides Luo and Acquino, the inaugural session of the forum was addressed by ICWA director general TCA Raghavan and Professor Xie Fuzhan, the president of CASS.

Former Indian ambassador to China Ashok K. Kantha, who is now the director of the New Delhi-based Institute of Chinese Studies (ICS), was a part of the Indian delegation.

Following the Beijing forum, the India delegation is heading to Hangzhou and Shanghai for additional exchanges with think-tanks there and for site-visits, the Indian embassy said in a statement.

The fifth India-China Think-Tanks Forum will be held in India in 2020.

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