‘Need to handle Sino-India differences wisely’

Chinese diplomat Dai Bingguo on Wednesday said the two countries should handle differences "wisely, calmly and properly".

Beijing: Gearing up for his visit to India
for the 15th round of boundary talks, top Chinese diplomat Dai
Bingguo on Wednesday said the two countries should handle differences
"wisely, calmly and properly" to prevent them from becoming
"barriers" in improvement of ties.

The boundary talks are set to be held next week after
being postponed in November over China`s objections to the
presence of the Dalai Lama at a Buddhist conference in New
"We should deepen cooperation and coordination, enhance
cooperation in international and regional affairs... We should
think and act in the interest of overall China-India
relationship," Dai, designated higher than the foreign
minister said at a meeting held in the newly-built Indian
embassy here.

His remarks came after a series of incidents in recent
days have again sparked tensions between the two sides.

"We need to handle the issues between the two countries
wisely, calmly and properly and prevent them from becoming
barriers between our two countries for obstacles to bilateral

"Instead we should handle them successfully so that they
promote progress in our bilateral relations," he said
apparently referring to recurring hiccups in the ties.

Dai, whose is also the designated Special Representative
of Sino-India border dispute virtually ever since the talks
began will be taking part in the 15th round of border talks
along with National Security Advisor, Shivshankar Menon on
January 17.

Recently, problems arose after China declined visa to an
IAF officer, who was to be part of a defence exchange on
grounds that he was from Arunachal Pradesh. India cut down the
size of the defence delegation from 30 to 15.
The two countries also defused the crisis arising out of
the illegal detention of two Indians in the business hub of
Yiwu and the manhandling of an Indian diplomat.

In a placating mood, Dai joked with Indian newsmen over
the chances of the two countries signing an agreement to
resolve the differences over borders, saying that he was
"ready to sign the agreement whenever Menon is ready".

A veteran diplomat for China several decades, Dai said he
was privileged to attend all three premises of the Indian
Embassy ever since it opened its mission in Beijing in 1950.

"I remember I have visited all the three premises of the
Indian Chancery in China and this one is the best so far,
everyone has been better than the previous one just like our
relations which kept growing year after year," he said.

The embassy has moved to very Indian-style sprawling
mission here this week. The Embassy has arranged a special
function to mark the end of 2011 as the Year of Exchanges
during which leaders of both sides met several times.

"The year of China-India exchange has indeed been a great
beginning of China-India relations of the 21th century. Our
bilateral relationship is on right track," Dai said, pointing
out how bilateral trade crossed USD 67 billion this year.

"It is clear that the world is undergoing profound and
complex changes. Rapid development of China-India and other
emerging developing countries is one of the most important
changes with profound implications," he said.
Both Premiers Wen Jiabao and Manmohan Singh have said on a
number of occasions that there is enough room in the world for
China and India to develop together and enough areas for China
and India to work together, Dai said.

"I believe the primary task of the both countries is to
focus on national development and ensure a peaceful, well off
and happy life for the 2.5 billion Chinese and Indian people
and to make our relations even better to achieve peaceful
national development," Dai said.

"Looking ahead China-India relations will be increasingly
important for our two countries, the region and the world. We
must follow the call of our times for peace and development
bearing in minds the interest of the Chinese and Indian people
and our overall relations," Dai said.

He called for maintaining high level exchanges, step up
dialogue and communication, deepen political trust and forever
be good neighbours, good friends and good partners.

"We should expand practical cooperation in economy, trade,
finance and infrastructure, IT and green economy and so on,"
he said.

"We should increase common interests for win-win outcomes.
We should strengthen people to people and cultural exchanges,"
he said.

Indian Ambassador to China, S Jaishankar spoke of numerous
visits of Indian leaders to China last year, including Singh,
Chief Ministers of Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat besides
various central Ministers.

India also started teaching Chinese language in Indian
schools this year.

"These activities reflect the strategic direction our ties
of what is possible between two neighbours. Certainly we have
our share of challenges. A settlement of boundary question
will awaits us.

"A fairer and balanced economic relationship is also
necessary. We must remain continuously sensitive to mutual
concerns," he said.

Building commonalities while managing differences is the
way forward, he said.