Event ReportsPublished on Jul 01, 2010
The foreign minister said the boundary issue between the two countries has not prevented mutually beneficial and functional cooperation in a number of areas
Competition with China not antagonism: S M Krishna

India does not consider China or its economic development a threat as “competition or lack of cooperation must not be understood as an antagonism”, External Affairs Minister S. M. Krishna said while releasing two books on China published by Observer Research Foundation (ORF) on Thursday, January 7, in New Delhi.

In his address at the ORF campus, after releasing the books, “Managed Chaos: The Fragility of the Chinese Miracle” by Prem Shankar Jha and “India and China: The Next Decade” edited by S.D.Muni and Suranjan Das, Mr. Krishna acknowledged that there was competition between the two countries which was “valid” and differences must be handled with dialogue and diplomacy.

He said “the two books represent the growing and welcome interests among the Indian intelligentsia in things Chinese and attempt to understand them with an Indian perspective”. It was imperative to look at China through Indian eyes. “We can be aloof to the unfolding new challenges and opportunities presented by our largest neighbour’s rapid ascendancy only at our own peril. Nor can we rely entirely on external sources for understanding and addressing them, Mr. Krishna said stressing upon the relevance of the ORF’s research project on China. Dwelling on the rise of China and India, he said “China’s sustained eye catching growth over three decades and our own growth in relative recent times have largely pulled the centre of the gravity of the world economy to this part of the world”. He said China and India hold promises for continued economic growth and explicate a way out of recession worldwide. “We have mutual interest in each other’s prosperity, as our trade statistics and investment trends eloquently indicate." he pointed out. On the boundary issue between the two countries, he said non-settlement of the boundary question has not prevented mutually beneficial and functional cooperation between India and China in a number of areas. India and China shared a complex relationship, which was defined by an unresolved boundary question, but there was a hard-won peace and tranquility on the border. “Peace and tranquility have been preserved in the long India-China border for more than two decades, and the plethora of confidence building measures put in place to reduce or eliminate the perception of threat from each other has worked satisfactorily well” Mr. Krishna said.

He further added that both the countries have a vibrant system of political exchanges and have created a full-fledged architecture of dialogue at all official levels, covering all fields with the parameters of the Strategic and Global Partnership. “It is our endeavour to fully utilize these mechanisms, address issues in a frank and mature manner and set new goals, rather than allow uncertainties to persist and lead to mistrust and grudge,” the Minister said. Mr. Krishna also underlined the need for more people-to-people contact between the two countries to create greater awareness and mutual understanding. "Knowledge and scholarship of China in our country needs to be augmented to attain the maximum benefit from the rise of China. The media could play a responsible and responsive role in this. Our civil societies must engage with each other more vigorously, recognizing the promises held out by each other," he said. The minister hoped this process of people-to-people friendship would be put on a faster track in the New Year, which will mark the 60th year of the establishment of diplomatic relations between India and China. He pronounced that spectacular Festivals of India in China and China’s in India will be organized to commemorate this objective. Mr. Krishna is looking forward to his China visit later this year to further strengthen and reinvigorate the old ties. In response to a question on “China’s spreading tentacles in Nepal”, the Minister asked Kathmandu to remain mindful of India’s security concerns while building ties with other countries. India has a special and time-tested relationship with Kathmandu and it was for Nepal to decide what kind of relationship it wanted with other countries, Mr. Krishna said and added that “Nepal should take our security concerns into account while carrying forward relations with other countries”. The book launch function was chaired by Amb. M. Rasgotra, President of ORF Centre for International Relations and was attended by Diplomats, scholars, mediapersons and other dignitaries. The report is prepared by Amit Kumar, Associate Fellow, ORF

Full Text of SM Krishna’s Speech

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