'Key issues should get priority'

Krishna wants Beijing, Delhi to forge partnership on global challenges

'Key issues should get priority'

External Affairs Minister S M Krishna talks to reporters in Beijing on Tuesday. AP

Addressing the China Institute for International Studies here on Tuesday, External Affairs Minister S M Krishna made out a case for New Delhi and Beijing to work together on key challenges that will define the 21st century. “These include sustainable development, technology exploitation, water usage, climate change, rapid urbanisation, migration, human development and building a pluralistic society. The 21st century will be increasingly driven by the quality of human resources. As the two largest human resource powers, our cooperation can accelerate that trend,” said Krishna.

The minister also said domestic political developments in such large countries necessarily impacted on the international system. “Indeed, it was no accident that we produced leaderships with such a strong internationalist outlook. The impact of the internal socio-political changes in India and China on the global polity cannot be overstated,” he said.
As he sought China’s support in India becoming a member of the United Nations Security Council, he said India and China have only begun to impact seriously on the world.

“Today we are striving to rewrite the rules of the world a little more in our favour. A reshaping of the global architecture is underway, evident in new groupings like the G-20, BRIC, BASIC and the East Asia Summit. As developing societies, our convergence is manifest on issues like climate change and global trade rules.

“Given their shared interest in creating a more contemporary order, the two countries can advance their respective interests much better through active cooperation. If India and China work purposefully in this direction, the whole world stands to benefit,” said the Minister.

Pluralistic societies

On terrorism, Krishna cautioned that “there are vested interests at work” and said “as pluralistic societies, we are threatened by political ideologies that are based on narrow loyalties, often justified by distorting religious beliefs.”

He also added that “these forces are against progress and modernity and have only brought misery wherever they have dominated. States that use them as instruments to advance their political interests find themselves consumed by these very destructive ideas. For both of us, stability at home stands in sharp contrast to extreme instability in our shared neighbourhood. We cannot afford to be passive spectators. It is critical for our future that we cooperate actively in meeting common challenges.”

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