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Updated: November 21, 2009 23:32 IST

Ansari asks India, China to be mutually sensitive

Special Correspondent
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The Vice-President Hamid Ansari at the ICWA-AAS conference on Asian relations
The Hindu The Vice-President Hamid Ansari at the ICWA-AAS conference on Asian relations "Emerging China: Prospects for Partnerships in Asia", in New Delhi on Saturday. Photo; Rajeev Bhatt

Vice-President Hamid Ansari admitted that even as India and China enunciated Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence as the corner stone of inter-state relations, the bilateral relations did not always conform to those very principles.

Speaking against the backdrop of acrimonious exchanges between India and China recently, Vice -President Hamid Ansari advised both countries to be mutually sensitive to each other’s concerns. This attribute is vital if stability, security and prosperity in the shared spaces in their near and distant neighbourhood are to be effectively ensured, he said at a conference “China: Prospects for partnership in Asia” organised by the Indian Council of World Affairs and Association of Asian Scholars here on Saturday.

He admitted that even as India and China enunciated the Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence as the corner stone of inter-state relations, the bilateral relations between them did not always conform to those very principles. But he quoted former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi to point out that while listing differences, commonalities in the world outlook of both countries should not be overlooked. There is parallelism in the views expressed by India and China on several issues relating to world security, the international political order, the new international economic order, global concerns in regard to environment and space.

Mr. Ansari pointed out that Indian and Chinese interests converge over a wide arc extending from West Asia, through Central Asia, to South and South East Asia to East Asia. The leaderships during the past two decades have cooperated in creating mutual political and economic stakes. However, cooperation does not preclude competition which should be constructive and beneficial rather than adversarial. The Vice President called for a readjustment in the theoretical models of state behaviour in the post-Cold War era. How India and China deal with various trans-national challenges such as terrorism, illegal migration, smuggling of drugs and arms and pandemics would affect large parts of Asia. The joint vision of the leaderships in India and China is to ensure a global order in which our simultaneous development will have a positive impact for our peoples and economies, as also for the rest of the world, he advocated.

Mr. Ansari felt that soft regionalism based on informal dialogue and consultation mechanisms is a better alternative to hard regionalism based on rigid and definitive institutional structures, inflexible mechanisms and formal dialogue.

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