AGENCYBEIJING: India and China should find stronger convergences, respect each other’s core concerns and manage their differences, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has said as he underlined that the relationship between the two Asian giants has become “so big” that it has acquired a “global dimension”. Jaishankar, who concluded his three-day visit to Beijing on Tuesday, held extensive talks with his counterpart Wang Yi on the entire gamut of the India-China ties. He also called on Vice President Wang Qishan, a close confidant of President Xi Jinping. As the two largest developing countries and emerging economies, cooperation between India and China is of great importance to the world, Jaishankar told state-run Xinhua news agency here in an interview on Sunday. China and India are the world’s only two emerging economies that boast a population of more than 1 billion, respectively. “Our relationship is so big that it is no longer a bilateral relationship. It has global dimensions,” Xinhua quoted Jaishankar as saying. Describing the world as “more multi-polar” with changing global order, he said India and China need to enhance communication and coordination to contribute to world peace, stability and development. The two countries should find stronger areas of convergence, respect each other’s core concerns, find ways of managing their differences and keep a strategic view of the direction of bilateral ties, he said. Jaishankar, who has earlier served as India’s ambassador here from 2009 to 2013, the longest tenure by an Indian diplomat to Beijing, said he was happy to be back in China at the beginning of his new role as India’s external affairs minister. “I feel in this responsibility I can contribute once again to building India-China relations. For me, that’s a huge part of my overall foreign policy responsibility,” he said. “A lot of people, including young people of both countries, really don’t have a good understanding of how much our two cultures of civilisations have affected each other,” he said, underlining that “promoting a greater awareness of that history” through more cultural exchanges is an important task for the two countries. “When we look back (at the past 69 years), there are many lessons that both of us can take from it. The primary lesson is that it is important for India and China to cooperate closely if we are to realise the Asian century,” he said. India and China have agreed to establish a high-level people-to-people exchanges mechanism in April last year and the first meeting was held in New Delhi in December. Describing the move as “taking the bilateral relationship from the narrow diplomatic field to a larger societal interaction”, Jaishankar said the more people of the two nations interact face-to-face, the more their sense of relating to each other will grow. “It’s important for our relationship to build popular support. Our people must feel good about each other,” he said. The minister also co-chaired the 2nd meeting of the China-India high-level people-to-people exchanges mechanism with Wang Yi, agreeing to further promote friendship between the two peoples. Jaishankar also discussed arrangements for President Xi’s visit to India later this year for second informal summit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. During his meeting with Wang Yi, Jaishankar said India’s decisions on Jammu and Kashmir are country’s “internal” matter and have no implication for either the external boundaries of India or the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China. According to an official release from the external affairs ministry, Jaishankar conveyed to his Chinese counterpart that the revoking of the special status to Jammu and Kashmir was an “internal” matter for India and the issue related to changes in a temporary provision of the Constitution of India and was the sole prerogative of the country. Asserting that the legislative measures were aimed at promoting better governance and socio-economic development, Jaishankar also said there was no implication for either the external boundaries of India or the LAC with China. “India was not raising any additional territorial claims. The Chinese concerns in this regard were therefore misplaced. The minister also conveyed that so far as the India China boundary question was concerned the two sides had agreed to a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable settlement of the Boundary Question on the basis of the 2005 Political Parameters and Guiding Principles,” the release said. Jaishankar also told Wang that it was important to ensure that bilateral differences should not become disputes and emphasised that the future of the ties will depend on the mutual sensitivity to each other’s “core concerns”. China on August 6 had objected to the formation of Ladakh as Union Territory by India, saying it undermined its territorial sovereignty, evoking a sharp reaction from New Delhi, which asked Beijing to refrain from commenting on its “internal affairs”. Ahead of Jaishankar’s visit, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi air-dashed to Beijing and held talks with Wang, seeking China’s support for Islamabad’s efforts to take India’s decision to revoke the special status to Kashmir to the UN Security Council.
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