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Wednesday, Oct 16, 2019

India, China should sign friendship treaty, free trade deal: Chinese envoy

Luo is on his way back after a nearly three-year stint as the Chinese envoy to India and is expected to be promoted as a vice foreign minister. His lengthy article in Chinese for The Paper possibly indicates Sino-India bilateral ties are likely to remain positive as the two countries prepare for Xi’s India visit later this year.

world Updated: May 28, 2019 17:11 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis
Sutirtho Patranobis
Hindustan Times, Beijing
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping have met three times since Wuhan to “lead the waves of the two countries’ relations” and at least three Chinese ministers have visited India in the last one year.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping have met three times since Wuhan to “lead the waves of the two countries’ relations” and at least three Chinese ministers have visited India in the last one year.(AP PHOTO)
         

India and China should discuss signing a “good neighbourly” treaty of friendship, explore signing a bilateral trade deal, look at “early harvest” solutions for the festering border dispute and work on the China-India model of cooperation, outgoing Chinese envoy, Luo Zhaohui has suggested.

“After experiencing the extraordinary development of the ‘honeymoon period’, ‘ice period’ and ‘recovery period’, Dong Lang (2017’s Doklam military standoff) caused Sino-Indian relations to fall into a trough. With President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Meeting in Wuhan’ as a symbol, the relations between the two countries have returned to a healthy and stable development track,” Luo wrote in an article for state-controlled news app, The Paper, seen as a news app for China’s millennials.

Luo is on his way back after a nearly three-year stint as the Chinese envoy to India and is expected to be promoted as a vice foreign minister. His lengthy article in Chinese for The Paper possibly indicates Sino-India bilateral ties are likely to remain positive as the two countries prepare for Xi’s India visit later this year.

Luo mentioned that PM Modi and Xi have met three times since Wuhan to “lead the waves of the two countries’ relations” and at least three Chinese ministers have visited India in the last one year.

“At present, more than 1,000 Chinese companies are doing business in India and have created 100,000 jobs. Xiaomi, VIVO, OPPO and other Chinese mobile phone brands have occupied half of the Indian market,” the senior diplomat wrote.

The two countries have handled sensitive issues like India’s boycott of the Belt and Road Initiative cooperation forum and the issue of the listing of the Pakistan-based terrorist, Masood Azhar in a “mature way”, he wrote.

Luo added that Beijing and New Delhi could share their experiences in developing ideas like the BRI, the Bangladesh, China, India, Myanmar (BCIM) corridor and India’s “Eastward Policy”.

“The “China-India+” cooperation model can be extended to any direction of mutual interest,” Luo wrote.

He suggested that in the near future the two countries could focus on four major aspects of ties: signing the China-India Good-Neighbourly Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation, exploring bilateral free trade agreement arrangements, launching early harvest negotiations on the border issue, and realising the “One Belt, One Road” initiative and the integration of national development strategies of India.

At the same time, Luo added that it was important to control differences, enhance mutual trust, complementary advantages, healthy competition, and jointly promote the construction of the Sino-Indian community of destiny as well as the common destiny of the Asian community.

India was among the first countries to recognise the People’s Republic of China when it came into existence in 1949.

Writing about that, Luo mentioned that New Delhi and Beijing will celebrate the 70th anniversary of establishing diplomatic ties this year. Calling it an “extraordinary year”, Luo wrote that both countries should learn from the past, understand the trends of current ties, deepen strategic mutual trust and expand pragmatic cooperation.

First Published: May 28, 2019 17:11 IST

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