Boston: India and China have "vast
differences" over the boundary issue which cannot be resolved
in short duration with "easy fixes", Foreign Secretary
Nirupama Rao has said, while asserting that it is not a
"primary obstacle" in normalisation of bilateral ties.
Rao said the path of confrontation would not ease the
"vast differences" India and China have on the issue.
"The complicated history of the outstanding boundary
question entails that discussions to resolve it cannot be of
short duration with easy fixes," she said.
She said that both countries have not allowed the border
issue to become a "primary obstacle" in terms of normalisation
"The reality is that India and China have worked hard
over the last two decades to deepen dialogue and bilateral
relations in a number of fields. Peace and tranquility have
prevailed in the India-China border areas despite the
unsettled boundary question," Rao said, delivering the Harish
Mahindra memorial lecture at Harvard.
India`s relationship with China should not be seen as
being only competitive but needs to be handled in a rationale
and "cool-headed" manner, she said.
"Relationship with China, our large neighbour, has to be
transacted in a very rationale, cool-headed and hard-nosed,
not hard-lined (manner). Being hard-nosed is not (being)
hard-lined. We can deal with this relationship. There is
increasing confidence. This is the new India which is not
hyperventilating in a way that introduces irrationality into
our actions," Rao said.
"The question asked is whether our relationship with
China will be one dominated by increasing competition for
influence and for resources as our economic needs grow. I
believe the proposition should not be exaggerated in a way
that it overshadows all attempts to rationalise the
relationship between India and China."
She said the Sino-India relations need not be seen as
"being only competitive."
"As our Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has said, India and
China will continue to grow simultaneously and our policies
will have to cater to this emerging reality."