Prospects of peace as India-Pak tensions have eased: China
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Last Updated: Saturday, September 21, 2013, 22:33
  
Beijing: Quoting from the Mahabharat and Rabindranath Tagore, a top Chinese leader on Saturday said the easing of tensions between India and Pakistan has increased the prospects of peace in South Asia.

Expressing China's interest in deepening ties with the subcontinent, Vice President Li Yuanchao said efforts by India and Bangladesh to settle their border differences too have boosted the chances of peace.

"In recent years, with eased tension between India and Pakistan and positive developments in the rebuilding of Afghanistan, reconciliation among South Asian countries has been gaining momentum," Li said while addressing the China-South Asia Peace and Development Forum at Kunming city.

"South Asian countries have endeavoured to seek peaceful resolutions of their disputes through consultations," he said.

"India and Pakistan, for example, are continuing with peace talks; Bangladesh and India have settled their land border; and countries in the region are making efforts to negotiate for a joint water resource management policy."

Li said China is committed to handling territorial and maritime disputes with neighbouring countries through "dialogues and consultations", and has "successfully resolved land border issues left over by history with 12 neighbours".

China wishes to work with South Asian countries to settle disputes and conflicts through peaceful negotiations with reconciliation and opposes the use or threat of force, he said.

"The Indian epic Mahabharata tells about how the ancient Indians ceased unjust wars for the sake of peace. And in China, proverbs such as 'peace is most precious' reflect the philosophy of peace cherished by the Chinese nation," he said.

"We should enhance dialogues and consultations to peacefully resolve disputes. Rabindranath Tagore, the great Indian poet, once said: 'Brute force shows but the weakness of mankind.' It is dialogues and consultations that are the correct way to resolve conflicts and disputes," Li said.

Expressing China's interest in deepening ties with the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), Li said in recent years, members of the grouping have signed a free trade agreement and a pact on trade in services.

They are now endeavouring for more connectivity in the region which facilitates regional economic integration, he said.

"China highly values our mutually beneficial cooperation with SAARC, and in 2006 became an observer of the Association. In 2012, China's trade volume with SAARC reached 93 billion US dollars," he said.

September 21 is observed by the UN General Assembly as an annual day of non-violence and cease-fire. The forum, launched by the Chinese People's Association for Peace and Disarmament, UN System in China and the Yunnan provincial government, was attended by officials and experts from South Asian countries and UN staff, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

PTI


First Published: Saturday, September 21, 2013, 22:33


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