India, China must find equilibrium on key issues: S Jaishankar

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar. (PTI photo)

India and China must find an "equilibrium" and "understanding" on key issues affecting each other, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said on Wednesday, asserting that there was no choice but to adopt such an approach.

In his address at the Raisina Dialogue, Jaishankar said both the countries will have to get along with each other but the challenge is how it will work.

"I think it is very important today. To my mind, it is absolutely necessary that the two countries find an equilibrium and find accommodation and understanding on key issues which affect each other. For me it is a must, not a choice," he said.

On bilateral ties, he said neither country can get the relationship "wrong".

"The reason is that we are neighbours. It is vital for neighbours to reach understanding as a general principle. Generally, as neighbours there are those issues, challenges that come by," he said.

"But the India-China relationship has a very unique characteristic which is that very rarely in history have two powers who are neighbours have gone up in the international order in approximately the same time frame," Jaishankar explained.

He said both India and China will have to get along well with each as there is no choice.

"The challenge is what are the terms and what is the basis and how it will work and... I would say it is a work in progress and it will continue to be a work in progress," he said.

"Both powers are dynamic in terms of... Today If I do an economic ranking, China would be number 2 and India would be number 5 or 6 in the world. Probably within the space of the decade, we will be 2 and 3.

"And probably within a quarter of a century, I don't know what our numbers are going to be. If you are going to be 2 and 3 and then you are going to be neighbours and you are the dynamic forces of the world, ask yourself, clearly, the logic of reaching an understanding will be a very very powerful logic," he added.

Ties between China and India nosedived after the 73-day confrontation between militaries of the two countries in Doklam in 2017.

However, the relationship saw improvement after Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping held an informal summit in Wuhan in China in April 2018.

The second informal summit took place in Mamallapuram in October last year.

The India-China border dispute covers 3,488-km-long Line of Actual Control. China claims Arunachal Pradesh as part of southern Tibet while India contests it.

Both sides have been asserting that pending the final resolution of the boundary issue, it is necessary to maintain peace and tranquillity in the border areas. 

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