Extracts From Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s Remarks To the Press At The National Peoples Congress meeting
Press Trust of India: How do you see the prospects of peace at the borders between China and India? How will the two sides’ different perspectives on the border issue shape the future trajectory of the relationship?
Wang Yi: The China-India relationship is essentially about how the world’s two largest developing countries get along and pursue development and rejuvenation together.
As two ancient civilizations next door to each other and two major emerging economies each with over one billion people, China and India have broad common interests and tremendous potential for cooperation. Domestically, both countries face the historic mission of bettering people’s lives and accelerating growth. Internationally, the world expects both of us to safeguard the common interests of developing countries and advance multipolarity in the world. On many important issues, our positions are the same or close due to similar national realities. Therefore, China and India are each other’s friends and partners, not threats or rivals. The two sides need to help each other succeed instead of undercutting each other; we should intensify cooperation instead of harboring suspicion at each other.
The boundary dispute, an issue left from history, is not the whole story of the China-India relationship. It is important that the two sides manage the dispute properly and at the same time, expand and enhance cooperation to create enabling conditions for the settlement of the issue.
The rights and wrongs of what happened in the border area last year are clear. So are the stakes involved. What happened again proves that initiating confrontation will not solve the problem, and that returning to peaceful negotiation is the right way forward. China’s position is very clear: We are committed to settling the boundary dispute through dialogue and consultation. At the same time, we are resolved to safeguard our sovereign rights and interests. It falls on both sides to solidify the existing consensus, strengthen dialogue and communication, and improve the various management mechanisms to jointly safeguard peace and tranquility in the border area.
In the year ahead, we hope India will work with China to truly deliver on the important common understanding reached by our leaders that “the two countries are not threats to each other but opportunities for each other’s development”. Together, we can bring greater benefits to the 2.7 billion people in China and India and make bigger contributions to the advent of an Asian Century.