India, China can't afford conflicted ties: Rao

"It is a truism that between two such large countries such as ours, relations will be complex and with continuing areas of divergence. The challenge remains to build more convergence and common ground,” Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao said here Thursday. 

She was speaking at the Singapore Consortium for China-India Dialogue on "Rabindranath Tagore's Vision of India and China: a Twenty First Century Perspective".

"I believe that the ballast must come from deeper dialogue which is defined by greater transparency, understanding the relevance and import of the words of thinkers like Tagore, realising that a conflicted or contest-ridden relationship between India and China can do neither any good, that peace and stability for an Asian century flows from the enduring strength of a well-functioning interaction between these two countries," Rao said.

The concept of "Zhongguo-Yin Da Tong" - or "Great Harmony between India and China" can describe the future of our relations, if we use not only our complementarities in development and economic growth but also our great strengths in cultural and civilisational values, she said.

Rao stressed that if India and China followed this principle, they can emerge as hubs of creativity and innovation to create a fitting new paradigm for the India-China equation.

The Indian foreign secretary stressed that the relations between the two countries have grown increasingly multi-faceted over the last one decade and added that they are interacting closely with each other, both in terms of bilateral trade, but also on issues concerning the global economic situation.

The two governments have decided to institute a strategic economic dialogue as a measure of the increasing complexity and sophistication of their negotiations on economic issues, Rao said.

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