عربي Español Русский Français 简体中文

Chinese Ambassador Le Yucheng's Interview with PTI

(From Chinese Embassy in Indian)

2014/09/17

On September 16, Chinese Ambassador to India Mr. Le Yu Cheng gives an interview to Press Trust of India adead of Chinese President Xi Jinping's state visit to India. The full text is as follows:

1: How important is the upcoming visit of honorable President Xi Jinping to India for the future of bilateral relations as also for regional peace and stability? Kindly state the objectives of his visit.

The forthcoming visit of President Xi Jinping is another state visit by Chinese President to India in eight years. President Xi will also be the first head of state who pays a state visit to India after the new Indian government took office. It fully demonstrates the importance attached by the Chinese government to India and to the Sino-Indian relations. Currently, both China and India are shouldering the historical mission of economic development, improving people's livelihood and thus rejuvenating their respective nation. With identical ideas and strategies of national development, both the countries should enhance policy coordination and increase complementarity of each other's advantages so as to achieve a win-win cooperation. It is for this purpose that President Xi Jinping during his visit will work together with the Indian side to draw the future plan of our bilateral relationship, including integrating each other's strategy of development and tapping potentials of bilateral collaboration so as to consolidate and enrich the Sino-Indian partnership of strategic cooperation in the new era. The both sides will sign about 20 documents of cooperation regarding setting up industrial parks in India, infrastructure construction, expansion of mutual investment and strengthening local-to-local cooperation and cultural exchanges, which will further integrate our respective interests. Meanwhile, China and India are both countries with big population, big countries in Asia; major developing and emerging countries, the connotation of our bilateral relationship is far beyond bilateral scope and becomes more of global significance.

As President Xi Jinping pointed out, as long as China and India speak with one voice, the world will listen; As long as China and India cooperate hand in hand, the whole world will pay attention. I am confident that the combination of "China Energy" and "India Wisdom" will certainly release enormous potentials. A close and strong cooperation between Chinese Dragon with Indian Elephant will not only improve the welfare of both the peoples, but also benefit Asia and the world at large.

2: During his meeting with Xi in Brazil, Prime Minister Modi underlined the importance of an amicable resolution of the boundary question, emphasising that such a step would "set an example for the entire world on peaceful conflict resolution." Do you agree with him and does China have any radical suggestions to expedite a resolution of the boundary question because we seem to be making little headway in bilateral discussions in the present format?

As countries with a long history of civilization, China and India have inherited some problems from history, but more importantly we have inherited oriental wisdom on how to solve problems. China is a country which has the world's longest land boundaries, largest number of neighbors and the most complex boundary conditions. Since the founding of the People's Republic of China, and by half-century's efforts, China has completed its boundary delimitation and demarcation with 12 out of 14 neighboring counties through friendly consultation. This has highlighted China's adherence to peaceful settlement of boundary issues with neighboring countries. It is also demonstration of China's insistence on the policy of peaceful development. As initiators of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, both China and India have every reason to believe that they have enough wisdom to solve the boundary issues.

Over the years, China and India have made consistent and unremitting efforts to resolve the boundary issues. A "three-step roadmap" has been formulated by the two sides. At present, the two sides are making endeavors to move forward the negotiation process and seek a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable solution based on the agreed political guidelines. In 2003, the two countries established a special representative mechanism. In order to conduct further the cooperation on boundary issues, a working mechanism on consultation and coordination of boundary issues between China and India was set up in 2012. In 2013, the two sides signed the "Border Defence Cooperation Agreement" to promote direct communication between border personnel and to properly handle the differences so that peace and tranquility will be maintained in the border areas.

I believe that, with enough willingness and determination, we'll find a proper solution to the boundary issues eventually. Practical experience has proved that as long as we respect and care for each other's concerns and insist on managing differences through dialogue and consultation, it is fully possible to handle the boundary-related issues properly, and create favorable conditions and atmosphere for the final settlement of the boundary as well as for the development of our bilateral relations.

3: Chinese leadership always speaks in positive tones about the importance of bilateral relations with India and the need for the two Asian giants to co-exist peacefully. Yet Chinese incursions into the Indian territory, its claims on Arunachal Pradesh and visa problems for certain categories of Indians continue to inject a sour note into the ties.

As I said, the China-India boundary issues are very complicated and sensitive, the solution needs time and patience for negotiation. A basic fact at present is that there does exist border disputes between China and India. Our two sides have different understanding on the "Line of Actual Control" which results in different understanding of so-called "cross the Line". The key, however, is that a series of confidence-building measures have been worked out to solve the boundary related events in a timely and proper manner in order not to affect the peace and tranquility in the border areas. On your second question, I would like to point out that China's practice is an alternative measure to facilitate personnel exchanges before the final settlement of the boundary issues between the two countries. I hope and also believe that both the sides will take care of each other's concerns with the principle of mutual understanding and properly handle the differences so that a mutually-acceptable, practical and effective solution will be achieved at an earlier date.

4: Does China see India as a close and good neighbour or as a rival power in Asia that needs to be contained? People in India see your generous military and other help to Pakistan as part of China's attempt to contain India and to keep it bogged down in problems with Pakistan. What would you like to tell those Indians who feel like that?

India is China's friendly neighbour and strategic partner, how can we imagine a policy of containment from either side? China is committed to a friendly and cooperative relationship with its all neighbours. China's relationship with any country is by no means directed against any, or at the cost of another country's interest. India and Pakistan are both friendly neighbours to China. I think that the China-India relations and China-Pakistan relations are not an either-or choice or a zero-sum game. Prime Minister Narandra Modi's successful invitation to Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to attend his inauguration has showed the improving momentum of India-Pakistan relations. China wishes and believes that India and Pakistan will properly handle their differences and promote bilateral cooperation for the benefit of the two peoples. China has been committed to developing its relations with India in parallel with that with Pakistan. I believe that a balanced development of China-India relations and China-Pakistan relations will also help to improve the India-Pakistan relations, and help to achieve a positive trilateral interaction, which conforms with the common interests of our three countries and people of the region.

5: There is a growing proximity between India and Japan which now share a global and strategic partnership. China's own relations with Japan are not happy. Do you believe that the strategic relationship between India and Japan is partly aimed at checkmating China?

Both China and India are major countries that have initiated and practiced the Five Principles of Peaceful Co-Existence. We both follow an independent foreign policy for peace. China, India and Japan are countries that have significant influence on the cause of peace and development in Asia. We are glad to see India and Japan to develop friendly and cooperative relations, and hope that their cooperation will be conducive to peace, stability and prosperity in Asia.

6: Trade: India and China have set an ambitious goal of achieving a bilateral trade of USD 100 billion by the year 2015. With bilateral trade in 2013 declining by 1.5 per cent to USD 65.47 billion, do you think we can achieve the target next year? What will China do to make it possible, especially since India is already complaining of an adverse trade balance of USD 31.42 billion last year?

The pragmatic cooperation between China and India has witnessed a significant improvement with substantial growth in bilateral trade in recent years. Meanwhile, due to some objective reasons such as differences of economic structure, there also exists the problem of trade imbalance between the two countries.

It is China's trade policy to achieve basic balance of international payments, and not deliberately pursue trade surplus. We understand India's concern about the trade imbalance. We welcome Indian goods to the Chinese market and have made practical efforts for it. We have sent trade and investment promotion missions to India, facilitated Indian companies to attend China's exhibition and actively expanded import from India.

At the same time, we are also working on expanding two-way investment. During the Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to India, we will reach an agreement on setting up industrial parks in India. China will construct two demonstrational industrial parks in Gujarat and Maharashtra, which I believe will attract a large number of Chinese enterprises to invest in India. It will be a new highlight of China-India economic and trade cooperation, and will help to balance the bilateral trade.

I would like to emphasize that trade balance cannot be achieved by cutting down the total trade volume, instead it will be done by making the cake bigger. During the course, we ought to seek an overall balanced and sustainable development for our bilateral trade and economic relations. China will continue to work with India to achieve the goal of bilateral trade of $100 billion. Yet $100 billion is by no means the end of the Sino-Indian trade. I am confident that as long as we continue to dock our development strategies, expand economic and trade cooperation and further open markets, the goal of $200 billion or even $300 billion is achievable.

7: China has experienced a number of brazen terror attacks in Xinjiang and other provinces allegedly by Uygur separatists, some of whom are trained in neighbouring Pakistan. How do you propose to combat the "three evil forces" of terrorism, separatism and extremism emanating from Pakistan?

Terrorism is an enemy of all mankind. China and India are both victims of terrorism. China is facing an actual and direct threat from the "East Turkistan" terrorists represented by the "East Turkistan Islamic Movement". Recently, China was hit by a number of violent terrorist attacks, underscoring the increasing threats and challenges faced by China. Along with the complex and profound changes of the international and regional situation of counter-terrorism, both China and India are increasingly challenged and threatened. The common interests and cooperation in counter-terrorism, therefore, are expanded as well.

I think China and India may focus exchanges and cooperation against terrorism on the following:First,increase dialogue on anti-terrorism policy. We may enhance communication and policy coordination on counter-terrorism so as to further our mutual understanding and trust on the occasion of high level exchanges, bilateral and multilateral anti-terrorism consultations and on the international arenas such as the UN, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the BRICS.

Second, deepen pragmatic cooperation against terrorism. We ought to enrich the counter-terrorism cooperation by exploring new ways of cooperation in such areas as intelligence exchanges, joint exercises, combat against cyber-terrorism and terrorist financing, maritime cooperation, security for major events and protection for overseas institutions and personnel. We expect to work with India in strengthening anti-terrorism cooperation and jointly safeguarding regional security and stability.

Pakistan is also a victim of terrorism. China and Pakistan have had very fruitful collaboration on fighting against the "East Turkistan Islamic Movement" and other terrorist forces. It is important to understand that the root cause of terrorism is complicated, and it will take a rather long and arduous process to address this menace. China, India and Pakistan ought to work together to deal with the problem of terrorism and root out the cause of terrorism.

Suggest to a friend
Print