India, China can’t afford conflicted ties: Rao

Singapore, January 14 (PTI): Seeking “more convergence and common ground” in Sino-India ties, Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao has said “a conflicted or contest-ridden” relationship cannot help the two countries, which should engage in a transparent dialogue to ensure peace and stability in the region. “It is a truism that between two such large countries such as ours, relations will be complex and with continuing areas of divergence. The challenge remains to build more convergence and common ground,” Rao said.
The remarks made yesterday were part of her speech at Singapore Consortium for China-India Dialogue on “Rabindranath Tagore’s Vision of India and China: a Twenty First Century Perspective”. “I believe that the ballast must come from deeper dialogue which is defined by greater transparency, understanding the relevance and import of the words of thinkers like Tagore, realising that a conflicted or contest- ridden relationship between India and China can do neither any good, that peace and stability for an Asian century flows from the enduring strength of a well-functioning interaction between these two countries,” Rao said.
She said India and China share what is termed as a strategic and cooperative partnership for peace and prosperity today. Their relations have, in the last decade particularly, grown increasingly multi-faceted. These two big economies of Asia are interacting closely with each other, both in terms of bilateral trade, but also on issues concerning the global economic situation, Rao said. The two governments have decided to institute a strategic economic dialogue as a measure of the increasing complexity and sophistication of their negotiations on economic issues, Rao said. As preparations are on to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Tagore’s birth, she noted that the year will also mark the 87th anniversary of his memorable visit to China.
“He went to China with a message of love and brotherhood that he felt symbolised the essence of the ties between the two countries,” Rao said. Tagore truly believed in the mutually beneficial interactive relationship between the two great civilisations of China and India, she said.