Sino-Indian ties never a zero-sum game, critical to meet common challenges: Krishna

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Beijing, Apr.6 (ANI): Urging the younger generation of Indians and Chinese to draw inspiration from the early years, when both India and China became independent nations, visiting Indian External Affairs Minister S. M.Krishna said today that the architects of modernization and reform in both countries - Rajiv Gandhi and Deng Xiaoping - were also the prime movers of normalizing ties after a difficult interregnum.

He said that as India and China manage their domestic priorities well, it has huge implications for global prosperity.

"Between them, they are raising the living standards of almost one-third of humanity. When the question is raised about what we are doing for the world, it is often forgotten that our domestic development itself has a worldwide effect," he said.

"In the last two decades, we have impacted significantly on global per-capita income, longevity and human development. Given the scale of what is underway, there is much that can be gained through our close cooperation. The economic models of India and China may be very different, but an exchange of best practices can still benefit both countries," he added.

Krishna said: "The paradigm of co-existence has today been enhanced by more active engagement. But this is still not adequate. We must ask ourselves whether as neighbours and partners, each of whom are large and rising economies, are we making the best of opportunities?

He asked whether it is possible for India and China to leverage each other's strengths?

"There is a huge infrastructure demand in India, covering sectors like power, roads, rail and telecommunications. In the recent budget, 46 percent of the total plan allocations are assigned for physical infrastructure development. China has actually carried out many of the changes that India is still contemplating," he said, adding that there is considerable scope for joint projects as we master the practice of working harmoniously together."

"There is a potential waiting to be tapped, which would happen only by connecting Chinese users to Indian providers (of IT). I am meeting representatives of Indian businesses in China later today and will encourage them to be creative in exploring opportunities here. We strongly feel that the India-China relationship is grossly under-realized and the capacities for expansion are enormous," Krishna said.

"We must always remember that the two countries are each part of the other's immediate periphery. Just by ensuring stability and promoting prosperity at home, we are actually serving each others' interest," he said.

"We cannot afford to be passive spectators. It is critical for our future that we cooperate actively in meeting common challenges. Our ties were never a zero sum game. Today, it is all the more important that we take an enlightened and long-term view of our self-interest," the minister said.

"India and China must not just cooperate; they must be seen to be doing so by the rest of the world," he added.

Recalling Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh's view that the world is large enough to accommodate the aspirations of both countries, Krishna said: "It is a goal that requires strong political will, sustained engagement and a high degree of mutual sensitivity." By Lokendra Singh (ANI)

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