The government on Wednesday said that India did not suffer from a crisis of confidence with China.
“We are fully secure and feel quite confident in what we are saying and how we are dealing with China, and we know that China would understand our concerns and China will respect those concerns of ours,’’ External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna told the Lok Sabha while replying to a discussion on relations between the two countries, particularly in reference to recent incursions.
Mr. Krishna said India’s relation with China gets very high priority in strategic thinking. “India values China’s friendship and association, and would like to further take it to certain strategic levels. We would like to develop this cooperative partnership based on equality in which each side should be sensitive enough to the concerns, aspirations and sentiments of the other nation.’’
Leadership in both the countries agree on the importance of strengthening cooperation and maintaining a forward looking approach to bilateral relations. This can be done only when an atmosphere of trust, mutual respect and understanding of each other’s position on various issues can take place, he said.
Drawing the attention of the House towards the outstanding issues, of which the boundary question is an important area where the two countries have not been able to come to an amicable understanding, Mr. Krishna said this was a very complex and time-consuming issue because the boundary has not been demarcated. “We have only a Line of Actual Control between the two countries. Our perception and their perception may not find convergence, and in those areas we will have to argue with them and then try and find an acceptable solution,” he said.
In this context, the two countries have created a mechanism of Special Representatives by mutual acceptance where the boundary issues are discussed. “We have had 13 meetings at the level of Special Representatives. Both the Prime Minister and myself have conveyed to the Chinese leadership that our differences over the boundary question should not be allowed to affect our functional cooperation in other areas,” the Minister said while adding that India would remain vigilant on its borders and the Armed Forces were regularly patrolling all areas along the border with China.
On development of infrastructure, Mr. Krishna said that within the constraints of resources, efforts have been made to develop infrastructure over the borderline of China and India, the momentum of which will be higher in the months to come.
The External Affairs Minister also informed the House that the Centre had no role to play either in the starting of the road project in Domchek in Ladakh or in its recent halting following Chinese objections. It was purely a decision which Jammu and Kashmir took, for which the Centre was neither consulted nor was it brought to its notice.
Referring to the recent controversy regarding the issuing of stapled Chinese visas to the people of Jammu and Kashmir, Mr. Krishna said India had reacted to it in a way that a strong country could. “We have said anything which is not stamped on the Indian passport will not be treated as a valid visa,” he said, adding India was not going to compromise with the visa policy.