China should show sensitivity on key issues: Rao

Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao said the two countries were also putting in place more confidence building measures to tackle the vexed boundary issue.

Last Updated: Dec 03, 2010, 14:03 PM IST

New Delhi: Ahead of Premier Wen Jiabao`s upcoming visit here, India on Friday hoped that China realises the need to show more sensitivity on core issues that impinge on
the country`s "sovereignty and territorial integrity" as raised by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao said the two countries were also putting in place more confidence building measures to tackle the vexed boundary issue, for which India is making a serious attempt to try to arrive at a "fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable solution".

Addressing a seminar on China-India relations, Rao talked about a host of issues which were a matter of concern to New Delhi and included Chinese presence in Pak-occupied Kashmir, issuance of stapled visas to residents of Jammu and Kashmir
and construction of dams on cross-border rivers.

"We believe that India-China relationship will grow even stronger as China shows more sensitivity on core issues that impinge on our sovereignty and territorial integrity. We hope this can be realised," she said.

India has maintained that the activities of Chinese companies in Pak-occupied Kashmir were illegal and the issue has been raised with the Chinese leadership. The matter of
stapled visa to Jammu and Kashmir residents has also been raised with Beijing.

"As India and China continue to pursue their interests, and so long as their overwhelming preoccupation remains their domestic transformation, and both understand that this goal requires a peaceful periphery, it is my firm conviction that
the element of competition in the bilateral relationship can be managed and the element of congruence can be built upon," Rao said.

India has made known to China its concerns over the presence of Chinese companies in PoK and has put them under a scanner to check whether the same firms were active in the
country as well.

The Indian leadership is understood to have been "quite frank" and "hard-nosed" while raising these issues of concern in intense discussions with their Chinese counterparts.

Citing the recently concluded 14th round of talks between
the Special Representatives on the boundary issue, Rao said,
"The absence of the solution to the question is not due to the
lack of effort but arises from the difficulty of the
question".

She maintained that the India-China boundary was the most
peaceful of all boundaries and both the countries have a "well
organised" set of measures to ensure peace and tranquillity on
the boundary.

"We are currently talking to each other on establishing
more such mechanisms," she said, adding leaders on both the
sides have shown maturity to understand the complexity of the
issue and to insulate it from affecting the broader
relationship.

Rao said India has not hesitated in stressing its
"genuine concerns" regarding some aspects of the
China-Pakistan relationship, particularly on China`s role in
PoK, its J&K policy and security and nuclear ties with
Islamabad.

"The need for mutual sensitivity to each others concerns
cannot be denied," she said, adding "the issue of giving
stapled visas for Indian nationals from the state of Jammu and
Kashmir arises in a similar context."

Rao said India was "alert" to reports of China damming
cross-border rivers and has sought assurances from Beijing
that it will take no action to negatively affect the flow of
the rivers into India.

"China has assured us that the projects on the
Brahmaputra are run-of-the-river projects and are not meant
for storing or diverting water," she said.

PTI