Mutual trust, respect key in Indo-China relations: Nirmala Sitharaman
ITANAGAR: Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Sunday termed India and China as the growth engines for the entire world saying that emergence of both the Asian giants will pave the way for an emerging Asia.
“Peace, security and development in Asia are possible when India and China develop. Development of both the nations is possible only when there is mutual trust and respect and understanding among the two countries,” the Union Defence Minister remarked while delivering the seventh memorial lecture of former RSS activist from the State Rutum Kamgo at Dorjee Khandu Convention Hall here.
Stating that competition can never be a conflict between India and China, Sitharaman while quoting Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that both the countries should follow the mantra of ‘sanman’ (respect), ‘sambad’ (dialogue), ‘sahyog’ (cooperation), ‘shanti’ (peace) and ‘samriddhi’ (prosperity) for development in the true sense.
“Both India and China should respect each other and resolve issues through dialogues and join hands for peace and prosperity,” she said.
The Defence Minister said that there are certain areas where both the Asian nations could cooperate especially in containing terrorism and sustainable development.
“There are various issues like defence, border disputes, border trades and presence of Indian and Chinese defence forces in the Indian Ocean which can be resolved through continuous dialogues,” Sitharaman said, adding, “solution lies in dialogue, solution lies in peaceful engagement; but for this mutual trust should be there.”
She added that mutual recognition of sensitivity in each country should be respected and resolved through dialogues.
Quoting Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s deliberation in Singapore in June this year, Sitharaman said that “Asia of rivalry will hold us back. Asia of cooperation will shape this century. So each nation must ask itself, whether it chooses to build a more united world or force new division”.
“Competition is normal but contest must not turn into conflict. Differences should not be allowed to become disputes. This is the summary of Indo-Sino relationship,” she added.
“There are many multi-lateral institutions in the world like the UN, IMF, World Bank etc., where representations from country like us with more population and demands are negligible. India and China should raise the issue jointly for mutual benefits,” the Defence Minister pointed out.
Sitharaman said that China has a calibrated democracy with controlled and relaxed approaches in certain areas while India has a pluralism democracy.
“I firmly believe that Asia will be the best in the world in the future when India and China develop mutual trust and respect between them,” she added.
On the proposal put forth by Chief Minister Pema Khandu for opening up border trade with China through Bumla, Sitharaman said that trade is possible with the border villages of both the the countries like Nathula in Sikkim and Moreh in Manipur with identified items.
“Trade between India and China is done in large scale amounting to 80-90 billion US dollars but sadly we are purchasing from them various products in huge quantities but for our products there market is not open,” she said, adding, “We have several products in the areas of telecommunication, vegetables, tea, soya, raw sugar, pharmaceuticals etc in which China evinces keen interest.”
The event organised by Arunachal Pradesh Charitable Trust (APCT) was to pay homage to Rutum Kamgo, a social leader who spent more than two decades championing the need to retain and nurture traditional culture till his demise on November 5, 2011 in a road accident.
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