India and China should seek common ground for development and resolve differences through dialogue: Chinese envoy

It’s only natural that countries have some differences, the key is how to manage the differences, he said

It’s only natural that countries have some differences, the key is how to manage the differences, he said

As neighbors, it is natural for China and India to have some differences, but the focus should be on seeking common ground for development while solving the outstanding problems through dialogue, said outgoing Chinese Ambassador to India Sun Weidong , on Tuesday.

His comments came at the end of his tenure of just over three years, when India-China ties were strained after the Galwan Valley clashes on June 15, 2020, which represented the worst military conflict between the two nuclear-armed neighbors.

“China and India are important neighbors for each other. It is only natural that China and India have some differences. The key is how to manage the differences,” Mr. Sun said in his parting remarks.

“We should be aware that the common interests of the two countries outweigh the differences. Meanwhile, both sides should strive to manage and resolve differences and seek a reasonable solution through dialogue and consultation, rather than defining China-India relations through differences,” he said.

He also referred to Rabindranath Tagore. “The famous Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore said that we Easterners cannot borrow the spirit of the West nor the temperament of the West. We must discover our own right to be born with it. I totally agree with him.”

Mr Sun said the two countries must respect each other’s political systems and development paths, and uphold the principle of non-interference in each other’s internal affairs and avoid “misunderstanding and misjudgment”.

“When Western theory of geopolitics is applied to China-India relations, large neighboring countries like us will inevitably see each other as threats and rivals. Consequently, competition and confrontation will be the main modalities of interaction, and the zero-sum game will be the inevitable result,” he said.

“But the reality is that geographic proximity is an objective existence. It should be an opportunity for us to have more interaction and collaboration, to fulfill our potential and to learn from and complement each other,” said the ambassador.

The Ambassador mentioned three specific dimensions of the Relations between China and Indiafocusing on enhancing mutually beneficial cooperation between the two sides.

“We should improve communication and cooperation. China and India have established dialogue mechanisms at different levels and departments. We should make full use of all communication channels and deepen mutual understanding to avoid misunderstanding and misjudgment,” he said.

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