'World must prepare for peaceful rise of China,' says PM

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Washington, Nov.24 (ANI): Indian Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, who is on a four-day visit to Washington, has said that while there is a degree of uncertainty on the part of China vis-'-vis resolving issues with India, he does not understand the reasons behind it.

Indulging in some plain speaking and suggestive sarcasm while speaking about China, Dr. Singh told Richard Haas, president of the Council of Foreign Relations (CFR) here that relations between New Delhi and Beijing have been progressing well over the last five years, hiccups notwithstanding.

Candidly admitting that both countries still have differences over the "border problem", Singh said that he was hopeful about resolving the decades-old issue through dialogue at various levels.

However, he said, China's growth as an economic power must be recognised and the rest of the world must engage with it.

"We want the world to prepare for the peaceful rise of China as a major power. Engagement is the right strategy, both for India and the United States. It has been very hard to engage China in the last five years. We have to recognise that the border problem exists, and that we must resolve it through dialogue. India and China are aware that peace and tranquillity should be maintained," said Singh.

He also said there was no doubt that the Chinese growth performance is better and superior than India's.

On G-20, he cracked a joke when asked whether it could get political muscle he mentioned what Canadian premier had to sayHe went that extra mile to say that GDP did not mean development.

"I have always believed there are other values to GDP growth. It is important to respect fundamental rights, the rule of law, multi-cultural, multiethnic and multi-religious rights. These have values also. There are several dimensions to human freedom, which are not always linked to GDP," Dr. Singh said.

"I would not like to chose the Chinese path. I will prefer to stick to the India path. India may appear as an indecisive democracy at times, but I have seen many democracies having short term maximisers. I also believe that once a democracy decides, any reforms taken, will be far more durable, will be far more effective than reforms introduced by a ruling writ in an undemocratic set-up," he said.

India unlike China was not dependent on external stimulants for its growth.

On the question of the progress or lack of it at the Doha round of WTO talks, Dr. Singh reiterated India's view that multilateral trade systems should work without distorted tariffs, and added that the tight system of trade and tariff regime prevailing in the West and Europe, would not work in India.

He also said that the possibility always exists for exploring an FTA between India and the United States.

Asked what were key drawbacks preventing Indian economic growth in the new millennium, he said there were three that concerned him - poor infrastructure, inadequate skills formation and a poor standard of human resource development and education. By Smita Prakash(ANI)

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