China and India should “unite” to play a “bigger role” in international affairs by leaving behind their past friction and look to the future if they aspire for a greater say in global politics, a leading Chinese daily said today.

“By cooperating on regional and international affairs, the two countries will better safeguard each of their interests and those of the developing world at large,” the state-run China Daily said in its editorial marking the 60th anniversary of bilateral ties.

As two important regional powers, China and India share common interests in sustaining regional development and stability and the two nations also have common ground in tackling global challenges including climate change and energy security, it added.

“The call for China and India to play a bigger role in the world has been growing. The call will be better answered if the two neighbours leave behind their past friction and look to the future. The two countries will be better positioned on global affairs if they could stand united,” it added.

Underlining the importance of bilateral ties, External Affairs Minister S. M. Krishna, who is visiting Beijing, yesterday said, the two neighbours are not rivals and emphasised that “divergences” between the two Asian giants were often exaggerated by “vested interests“.

“A strong and stable relationship between India and China has consequences for the entire world. Because we are different, our divergences are often exaggerated. If truth be told, there are vested interests at work too,” he had said.

Meanwhile, the Chinese newspaper recognised “the two developing but emerging economies have been regarded as bright spots bringing hope of a full global economic recovery.”

“Expanded cooperation in trade will bring more benefits for the two neighbours and further shore up their economic clout around the world.

China regards its relationship with India as one of its most important bilateral ties. The growth in their relationship in the past 60 years has made it possible for the two most populous countries to forge ahead with a long-term strategic partnership,” it said.

The ongoing visit by Mr. Krishna to Beijing is important for officials from both sides to carry out dialogue, build trust and establish cooperation, the paper noted.