China on Tuesday said Premier Li Keqiang’s visit to New Delhi and Mumbai had given “a strong boost” to ties with India. The State media here hailed the three-day trip, saying it has sent “a positive signal” despite differences over the boundary issue and trade imbalance.
The Foreign Ministry here said both countries had decided, after two days of talks, to “seize the current opportunity to strengthen political mutual trust.”
“We believe this visit will give a strong boost to the China-India strategic and cooperative partnership of peace and prosperity,” its spokesperson Hong Lei told reporters at a press briefing.
Chinese State media outlets on Tuesday framed the visit in positive terms, highlighting the common interests of both countries reflected in Monday’s joint statement, and playing down differences over the boundary issue.
“Despite China and India’s arguments about territory issues and trade imbalances, Premier Li Keqiang’s stop in India during his first overseas trip since he took the office has undoubtedly sent a positive and friendly signal,” the official China Daily said.
The newspaper was among the few in China, besides the official Xinhua news agency and State broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV), to send a reporter to New Delhi to cover the trip. It quoted Chinese officials as noting the particular rapport between Mr. Li and his Indian interlocutors, who have remarked that the new Premier, rare among Chinese leaders in being fluent in English, had a more informal and candid demeanour than his predecessors.
The visit was “a meaningful step forward”, a commentary issued by Xinhua said, because both countries agreed on Monday to improve the various border-related mechanisms and make them more efficient” in the wake of the three-week-long stand-off in Ladakh.
Other newspapers highlighted the convergence of both countries’ interests on global issues, as expressed in the joint statement.
“They hold consistent or similar views on the main issues of the world; they are in favour of practicing democracy in international relations and advocate promoting world multipolarisation and abiding by international code, which are supreme values in today’s world,” wrote the Liberation Daily, an influential Shanghai-based newspaper affiliated to the Communist Party.
At a time when many Chinese analysts are wary about the American “pivot” to Asia and resurgent tensions with countries such as Japan and the Philippines that are close to the U.S., the newspaper said it believed India would not join any alliance aimed at China.
“Because of the boundary problems between the two countries, some conflicts do exist between them,” the newspaper said. “But the leaders of the two countries have not been misled by American and Japanese right wing forces. Some influential people in India said the DNA of India does not allow it to become an ally in subordinate position like Japan or Britain. India will not harm the relationship with China just for the sake of realising certain countries’ strategic interests.”
Keywords: China-India friendship