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India, China to Move Ahead in Their Ties: Indian FM
India's Foreign Minister Yashwant Sinha on Monday said New Delhi and Beijing had "shown the wisdom to move ahead in their bilateral relations even as contentious issues such as the border dispute are separately addressed."

Inaugurating an international conference on Asian security and China, he said, "Economic integration and an overall improvement in relations has not been held hostage to differences over specific issues, however important those issues be."

Sinha refuted the argument by "some analysts" that there was a "battle of supremacy" between India and China.

"Let me debunk these theories completely and state with full conviction that India neither pursues nor makes policy towards China based on the belief that conflict between the two is inevitable," he told the three-day international conference organized by the Institute for Defense Studies and Analyses (IDSA).

The foreign minister said New Delhi's approach to relations with Beijing "is and will remain forward-looking and infused with a sense of optimism."

"India's policies will not be based on fear of Chinese power nor envy of China's economic achievements. They will be based on the conviction that a prosperous India is inevitable. So is a strong and prosperous China," Sinha said.

It was logical, reasonable and in the interests of both nations for them to address the differences and build on what was common, he added.

"Further, both India and China are too large and too strong to be contained or cowed down by any country, including each other," he said.

Sino-Indian trade grew rapidly in the past decade from about US$247 million in 1991 to US$4.3 billion last year, he noted.

On bilateral cooperation, he said that the two nations had decided to move ahead in diverse areas while at the same time seeking to resolve differences "through dialogue and peaceful means".

IDSA Director K. Santhanam said China was important to Asia's security in the next decade. Many of China's experiences in the past two decades would be valuable for the region's development.

(People’s Daily January 28, 2003)

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