Boundary resolution requires patience, says Wen Jiabao

Thursday, December 16, 2010

NEW DELHI - Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao Thursday struck a cautious note on the boundary dispute with India, saying it was “a historical legacy” and its resolution requires patience.

“It will not be easy to completely resolve this question. It requires patience and will take a fairly long period of time,” Wen, who began his three-day visit to India Wednesday, said in a speech on India-China relations at the Indian Council for World Affairs.

“Only with sincerity, mutual trust and perseverance can we eventually find a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable solution, he added.

The boundary dispute figured in delegation-level talks between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Wen.

The two sides reiterated their firm commitment to resolving outstanding differences, including the boundary question, at an early date through peaceful negotiations, a joint communique said after the talks.

The two sides, it said, resolved to actively seek a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable solution from the political and strategic perspective.

Pending the resolution of the boundary question, the two sides shall work together to maintain peace and tranquility in the border areas in line with the previous agreements, it said.

Wen also allayed India’s concerns about cross-border rivers, saying managing them was a shared responsibility.

Wen described these rivers as “a source of livelihood for the people living along the rivers”.

“To properly preserve, utilize and manage the trans-border rivers is our shared responsibility,” he said.

“China takes seriously India’s concern about the trans-border rivers, and we are ready to further improve the joint working mechanism,” he said.

“We will do whatever we can and do it even better,” he said, adding: “All the upstream development activities by China will be based on scientific planning and study and will never harm downstream interests.”

Rejecting rivalry, Wen outlined a vibrant picture of India-China relations in the future.

“China and India, two great nations that have gone through so many trials and tribulations, will, as always, remain vibrant, live up to the important mission bestowed by history, and work together for new glories of the Oriental civilization,” Wen said at the end of his speech.

There is enough space in the world for the development of both countries and enough areas for them to cooperate, he said. “Such important consensus is deeply rooted in the time-honoured cultural traditions of the two countries and our long history of exchanges,” he added.

And “it comes from our correct reading of the international situation and keen understanding of our national interests,” said Wen, after his wide-ranging talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

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