New Delhi, Oct 13: Notwithstanding differences in Sino-India relations, China today said "sound and stable" development of ties in recent years has proved that the "dragon" and the "elephant" can join hands and peacefully co-exist.
"Once, predictions about our future relations dwelled on 'rivalry between the dragon and the elephant'. However, the sound and stable development of bilateral relations in recent years has proved that the 'dragon' and the 'elephant' can join hands to dance together," Minister Counsellor of Chinese Embassy Cheng Guangzhong said here.
Cheng, speaking at the inauguration of a China-themed book editorial office in India, said China and India with their distinctive histories, cultures and religions can bring their diversity into full play when cooperating with each other in different areas.
"Cultural exchanges and dialogues are crucial for the two countries to seek common ground while maintaining individual characteristics. Two of the oldest civilisations in the world, China and India, are more than capable of finding ways to achieve peaceful coexistence as giant neighbours," he said.
Noting that China and India are emerging markets with big potential for development, Cheng said, "We are also ancient civilisations with a time-honoured history and brilliant culture. The two neighbours have long engaged in exchanges and mutual learning. As major countries in Asia, China and India have always been a focus of attention."
Leaders, who have helped forge China-India friendship, have said that a true Asian century will come only when China and India are both developed and that when India and China come together, it will be a big event for Asia and indeed even the world, he asserted.
"The two largest Asian nations bear the historical responsibility and mandate of the times to maintain peace and stability in Asia and achieve its prosperity and renewal," Cheng said.
China-India ties have recently been under stress due to issues like China's opposition to India's efforts to get JeM chief Masood Azhar banned by the UN and Beijing's efforts to scuttle India's membership bid at NSG.
China has also blocked a tributary of the mighty Brahmaputra in Tibet as part of the construction of its "most expensive" hydro-power project, causing concern in India as it may impact water flows into the lower riparian countries