As neighbours, it is natural for China and India to have some differences, but the focus should be to seek common ground for development while resolving the pending issues through dialogue, outgoing Chinese Ambassador Sun Weidong said on Tuesday.
His comments came at the end of his little over three-year tenure that saw the ties between India and China coming under severe strain following the Galwan Valley clashes on June 15, 2020, which marked the most serious military conflicts between the two nuclear-armed neighbours.
“China and India are important neighbours to each other. It is only natural for China and India having some differences. The key is how to handle the differences,” Mr Sun said in his farewell remarks.
“We should be aware that the common interests of the two countries are greater than differences. Meanwhile, the two sides should strive to manage and resolve differences, and look for a proper solution through dialogue and consultation, instead of defining China-India relations by differences,” he said.
He also referred to Rabindranath Tagore. “The famous Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore said that we Easterners can neither borrow the minds of the West nor the temperament of the West. We need to discover our own right to be born with. I fully agree with him.”
Mr Sun said the two countries need to respect each other’s political systems and development paths, and uphold the principle of non-interference in each other’s internal affairs and avoid “misunderstanding and miscalculation”.
“If the Western theory of geopolitics is applied to the China-India relationship, then major neighbouring countries like us will inevitably view each other as threats and rivals. Consequently, competition and confrontation will be the main mode of interaction, and zero-sum game will be the inevitable result,” he said.
“But the reality is that geographical proximity is an objective existence. It should be an opportunity for us to have more interaction and cooperation, tap our potential and learn from and complement each other,” the Ambassador said.
The Ambassador mentioned three specific dimensions of the Sino-India ties, emphasising on enhancing mutually beneficial cooperation between the two sides.
“We should enhance communication and cooperation. China and India have established dialogue mechanisms in various levels and departments. We should make full use of all the communication channels, deepen mutual understanding in order to avoid misunderstanding and miscalculation,” he said.
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