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India, China must shed suspicion: Wang

Friday, March 09, 2018

Beijing: China today presented an upbeat picture of its ties with India and said that both countries should shed suspicion and manage differences by meeting half way, toning down its tough posture against New Delhi after the tense Dokalam standoff.

As China's political picture is set for a major change this week with its Parliament expected to ratify the proposal to remove term limits for President Xi Jinping, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi addressed over a two-hour-long press conference outlining Beijing's foreign policy perspectives in what is called a "new era".

Last year, Wang skirted to take a question on ties with India amid growing discord over a host issues including the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), China blocking efforts at the UN to list Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist as well as India's entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group. Later in the two militaries were locked in the 73-day standoff at Dokalam, the longest in recent years.

Wang, who is widely expected to be promoted as State Councillor, a top diplomatic position, took a question on India today in the carefully choreographed media event telecast live on the sidelines of the annual session of legislature, the National People's Congress (NPC).

Asked how China views relations with India this year after turbulence in ties in 2017 due to a number of issues including the Dokalam standoff, Wang sought to strike a chord with India, calling for both the countries to shed confrontationist stance on issues of differences.

"The Chinese dragon and Indian elephant must not fight each other but dance with each other," he said, adding "if China and India are united, one plus one is not equal to two but eleven".

"Despite some tests and difficulties, the China-India relationship continues to grow," Wang said.

In an apparent reference to concerns in India over forays being made by Beijing in India's close neighbourhood, Wang said, "China is upholding its rights and legitimate interests and taking care to preserve its relationship with India".

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