China needs to be more sensitive to our sovereignty issues: India

Friday, December 3, 2010

NEW DELHI - Bilateral relations with China could be stronger if Beijing was more sensitive to India’s “core issues” on sovereignty and territorial disputes, Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao said here Friday.

“We believe that the India-China relationship will grow even stronger as China shows more sensitivity on core issues that impinge on our sovereignty and territorial integrity. We hope this can be realized,” she said at a seminar on ‘India-China relations’ at Observer Research Foundation.

She raised this point in relation to India’s concerns “regarding some aspects of the China-Pakistan relationship particularly when it comes to Chinas role in PoK (Pakistan-occupied Kashmir), Chinas Jammu and Kashmir policy and the Sino-Pak security and nuclear relationship.

The need for mutual sensitivity to each others concerns cannot be denied. The issue of giving stapled visas to Indian nationals from the state of Jammu and Kashmir arises in a similar context, said Rao, urging, The need for mutual sensitivity to each others concerns cannot be denied.

Her remarks comes as Premier Wen Jiabao is said to be arriving in India for a visit Dec 16.

She added that the frequent utterances of India and China being rivals should not be over-stressed.

The view that India and China are rivals to me is an over-generalization as well as over-simplification of a complex relationship which encompasses so many diverse issues. I believe the proposition of competition and rivalry should not be exaggerated in a manner that it overshadows our genuine attempts to manage and transact a rationally determined relationship between India and China, said Rao, who is a former Indian ambassador to China.

She added that the elements of competition can be managed, if elements of congruence are built upon. As our interests get progressively more complex, the costs of any withdrawal from engagement will rise. I believe this is a big relationship with the clear possibility of an ambitious agenda of mutual engagement that will be one of the most important bilateral equations of our new century, said Rao.

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