Xi backs formula to improve ties with India

Xi backs formula to improve ties with India

China’s new President Xi Jinping on Tuesday unveiled a five-point formula to improve ties with India, proposing accommodation of each other’s core concerns and proper handling of differences while seeking peace on the border as a resolution of the dispute “won’t be easy”.

Xi, 59, who took over as President, the head of the ruling Communist Party and the military chief completing a rare triad of power structure marking a generational change of leadership, sent clear signals of boosting bilateral relations with India.

He expressed his keenness to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh next week on the sidelines of the BRICS summit in Durban in his first contact with top Indian leadership after his inauguration last week.

“I am keen on a good meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Durban when I go for the BRICS meeting,” Xi said.

Xi revealed the five proposals including bilateral cooperation in infrastructure, mutual investment and other areas and collaboration in multilateral fora to protect the interest of the developing countries and tacking global challenges in reply to a question at an interaction with the select editors of the BRICS countries at the Great Hall of the People here.

Seeing ties with India as “one of the most important bilateral relationships”, Xi, the first leader born after Chinese independence in 1949, spoke his mind on the border question troubling the two large neighbours.

“The border question is a complex issue left from history and solving the issue won’t be easy. However, as long as we keep up friendly consultations, we can eventually arrive at a fair reasonable and mutually acceptable settlement,” Xi said.

“Pending the final settlement of the boundary question the two sides should work together and maintain peace and tranquility in the border areas and prevent the border question from affecting the overall development of bilateral relations,” he said.

The new President was replying to a question on what policy the new Chinese leadership will pursue towards India and whether there would be any change in its position on the border issue.

India asserts that the border dispute covered about 4,000 km, while China claims that it confined to about 2,000 km to the area of Arunachal Pradesh, which it refers as Southern Tibet.

Xi spoke of the traditional friendship between India and China, describing them as two largest developing countries of the world with a combined population of over 2.5 billion.