Millennium Post

‘We can prevent border issue from affecting ties’

Playing down recent border stand off in Ladakh ahead of Premier Li Keqiang’s visit to India, China on Thursday said the two sides have the ability to prevent such issues from affecting overall growth of ties, while working ‘very hard’ to find a solution at an ‘early date’.

‘There are some historical issues between India and China including the boundary question. The consensus of the two countries and leaders is that we have more overlapping interests than differences and we have more cooperation than competition,’ Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Song Tao said.

Besides being ancient civilisations and emerging markets, both the countries ‘have the wisdom and resourcefulness to properly manage our differences’, he said briefing the media about Li’s three-day visit to New Delhi and Mumbai starting from 19 May.

‘For that we have the ability to prevent these differences from affecting overall growth of our relations,’ he said answering a question.

‘We both are working very hard to find a solution to this (boundary issue at an early date. I think through the concerted efforts of the two sides we have made positive progress in addressing the issue,’ he said.

The new Premier who has chosen India to be first stop of his maiden overseas visit would also go to Pakistan, Switzerland and Germany after that. The fact that Premier Li has chosen India as one of the countries on his first overseas trip shows the importance the new government attaches to China-India relations, Song said.

During his stay in New Delhi, Li will hold talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on bilateral ties and issues of mutual interest and also meet President Pranab Mukherjee. He will make a speech on India-China relations and also attend China-India business summit and other important activities, Song said. The two countries also will sign several agreements to further cooperation in various areas, he said without giving any details.

‘I believe with concerted efforts from both sides Li’s visit will produce fruitful results,’ he said. Answering a question, Song also said Indian government too has ‘put in a lot efforts’ to make Li’s visit successful.

Referring to the recent visit of External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid to China, he said, ‘the Indian side also attaches great importance to Premier Li’s visit and believes that it will inject strong impetus to our relations’.

The purpose of Khurshid’s visit was to make preparations for Li’s upcoming visit to India and to make sure that the visit will be a productive one.

‘I am sure that through the joint of efforts of both sides the visit will take China India relations to higher level,’ he said.
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