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China Daily Website

Indian PM: India, China not destined to be rivals

Updated: 2013-10-24 21:27
( Xinhua)

BEIJING - Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said here on Thursday that India and China were not destined to be rivals, calling on the two emerging countries to strive for partnership.

"We should show determination to become partners. Our future should be defined by cooperation and not by confrontation," Singh said in his speech at the Central Party School of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, well-known in China as the most significant institute to nurture future leaders.

"It will not be easy, but we must spare no effort," the 81-year-old prime minister said.

Thursday was the last day of Singh's three-day official visit to China. On Wednesday, he met with Chinese President Xi Jinping and held talks with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang. He and Li also witnessed the signing of an array of documents on bilateral cooperation.

"World is large enough to accommodate the development aspirations of both India and China, " Singh told a 500-strong audience.

"My meetings with President Xi and Premier Li give me great confidence that we can fulfill this noble vision. More than ever before, the world needs both countries to prosper together," he said.

Stressing that India welcomes China's emergence, the prime minister said old theories of alliances and containment "are no longer relevant."

"India and China cannot be contained and our recent history is testimony to this. Nor should we seek to contain others," he said.

"We both know that the benefits of cooperation far outweigh any presumed gains from containment. Therefore, we should engage with each other in a spirit of equality and friendship and with the confidence that neither country is a threat to the other. This is the essential premise of India's external engagement, "said Singh.

He added that Indian's strategic partnerships with other countries are defined by its own economic interests, needs and aspirations.

"They are not directed against China or anyone else. We expect a similar approach from China," he added.

In his speech, Singh highlighted eight specific areas for future cooperation, including infrastructure construction, urbanization, energy security, food security, climate change, regional stability and others.

He mentioned that India plans to invest one trillion US dollars in infrastructure in the next five years and would welcome China's expertise and investment in this sector.

Singh also outlined principles of engagement for closer cooperation, calling on both countries to reaffirm an unwavering commitment to the Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence (known in India as the Panchsheel Treaty).

The two countries should also maintain peace and tranquility in the  border areas as this has been the cornerstone of bilateral relations, Singh said.

In addition, he called for cooperation on complex issues such as trans-border rivers and trade imbalance and a high level of strategic communication to eliminate misunderstanding.

He also called for enhanced policy coordination on regional and global affairs and increased people-to-people contacts.

"I believe that our two countries not only share a common destiny, but that we have unlimited possibilities for closer cooperation," he said.

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