Understanding sensitivities key to Sino-India friendship: Patil

Last Updated: Friday, May 28, 2010 - 18:02

Beijing: In a subtle but clear message,
President Pratibha Patil told China on Friday that "mutual
understanding of each other`s sensitivities" held the key to
"deeper and sturdier friendship" between the two Asian giants.

In her first public speech during her six-day State
Visit, Patil spoke of the "time-tested" Sino-Indian friendship
"forged in the crucibles of civilisation". She saw growing
scope for cooperation between the two countries.
In her address warmly received by Chinese scholars who
formed part of a substantial gathering, Patil expectedly made
no mention of irritants such as Chinese incursions, Beijing`s
support to Pakistan and the issue of stapled visas to
Kashmirs, and focused on the positives in bilateral ties.

Yet, Patil chose to underline, "Mutual awareness about
each other and mutual understanding of each other`s
sensitivities, will hold key to deeper and sturdier
friendship."

The Indian leader, who had said on her way here that
"there is enough space in the world for both the countries to
fulfil their aspirations for development," said at her speech
at the Chinese People`s Association for Friendship with
Foreign Countries that the two governments were working
together towards strengthening mutual cooperation.

The President was speaking a day after her wide-ranging
talks with her Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao and Premier Wen
Jiabao during which she sought, and to some extent, obtained
Beijing`s backing for India`s aspirations to be a permanent
member of the UN Security Council. She also pressed China to
open up its market to Indian goods and services to address the
adverse trade balance.

Patil summed up her discussions as "very positive and
fruitful."
"There is keenness on the part of both the countries
to move forward," she told agency.

The President, in her speech, said that her discussions
with the Chinese leadership have emphasised the "noteworthy
progress that cooperation has achieved in recent years and
chartered the course for further progress."

She said that "in the age of globalisation and seamless
communication," the "vibrant and enterprising" people of the
two countries had to be at the centre of bilateral ties.

Patil, the first Indian head of state to visit China in a
decade, also described China`s transformation as "amazing."

"Even in my short stay, I have been impressed by the
amazing achievements of China on many fronts," she said.

"This only confirms the prevalent belief in India that
much can be learnt from experiences of China, which is a
similarly placed emerging economy, with similar aspirations,"
she said.

Patil also spoke about the possibility of greater India-
China cooperation in the international arena.

"In the international arena too, our common interests and
shared concerns prove the basis for working together," she
said, adding that the two governments were working towards
that objective.

Patil said her visit, which takes place as the two
countries are celebrating the 60th anniversary of the
establishment of diplomatic ties, brought back the memories of
their "early solidarity and rewarding cooperation" as modern
nations.

PTI



First Published: Friday, May 28, 2010 - 18:02

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