'Differences between India, China should not become disputes'
Itanagar: Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Sunday pitched for dialogues between India and China on various issues, saying differences between the two nations should not be allowed to become disputes.
Both India and China should respect each other and resolve issues through dialogues and join hands together for peace and prosperity, Sitharaman said.
There are various issues such as defence, border disputes, border trades and presence of Indian and Chinese defence forces in the Indian Ocean which can be resolved through continuous dialogues, the minister said.
"Competition is healthy, but contest must not turn into conflict. Differences should not be allowed to become disputes, she said here.
"Solution lies in dialogue; solution lies in peaceful engagement. But for this, mutual trust should be there." However, she added, mutual recognition of sensitivity in each country should be respected and resolved through dialogues.
On a proposal of Chief Minister Pema Khandu for opening up border trade with China through Bum La Pass, Sitharaman said the trade was possible with the border villages of both the countries, like the current border haats at Nathu La in Sikkim and Moreh in Manipur.
However, she added, the balance of trade between the countries was in favour of China. "Trade between India and China is done in large scale amounting to USD 80-90 billion. But, sadly, we are purchasing from them in huge quantities. But, for our products, their market is not open."
"We have several products like telecommunication, vegetables, tea, soya, raw sugar and pharmaceuticals in which China evinces keen interest," the defence minister said, adding that there were certain areas where both the nations could cooperate, especially in containing terrorism and promoting sustainable development.
The minister termed India and China the growth engines for the entire world, saying that emergence of both the countries would pave the way for an emerging Asia.