Sino-Indian ties to benefit world: Indian envoy

Beijing, Jan 5 (IANS) China and India are re-emerging in a mutually supportive manner and their cooperation will benefit the world, India’s ambassador Ashok Kantha has said.

Kantha has a “sense of deep satisfaction” as relations between the Asian neighbours gained momentum since he took office in 2014, Xinhua quoted the ambassador as saying.

Kantha will complete his tenure and leave China this week.

The last two years were “the most productive phase” in the development of Sino-Indian ties, as shown by frequent high-level exchanges, especially the two landmark visits by leaders of the two countries, he said.

In September 2014, Chinese President Xi Jinping visited India. In May 2015, Xi welcomed Modi to his hometown.

In addition to reaching a series of agreements and understandings, the leaders also sent out “very powerful signals of the desire by India and China to work together”, said Kantha.

The re-emergence of India and China was a defining development of the 21st century, and the two countries have to take into consideration each other’s interests, concerns and aspirations, he added.

China is one of India’s largest trading partners, with two-way trade in 2015 expected to reach $100 billion.

“We need to move to a more balanced trade relationship,” said Kantha, adding India was trying to expand its economic engagement and attract investment from Chinese companies.

While China has promoted strategies including ‘Made in China 2025’ and ‘Internet Plus’, India has launched initiatives such as ‘Make in India’, ‘Digital India’ and ‘Smart Cities’.

Kantha said these will create new opportunities for the two countries to contribute to each other’s development.

“Indian companies have strengths when it comes to the knowledge-based economy, which can contribute to China’s economic development, which emphasises innovation and R&D,” said Kantha.

Kantha said he appreciated Chinese people’s interest in Indian culture. After visiting 27 Chinese cities, Kantha said: “Yoga is finding a second home in China.”

China and India, as neighbours and two of the world’s fastest growing economies, approach several key global issues with similar perspectives.

“We have converging interests when it comes to international issues. Therefore, it is not surprising that collaboration is increasing significantly.”

Kantha admitted there were problems, such us border disputes. “But we will not let them get in the way of the development of relations.”

In 2015, China and India, together with other BRICS partners, worked to launch the New Development Bank, which is headquartered in Shanghai and headed by an Indian president.

India also supported China in establishing the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank last year, with India being the second largest shareholder.

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