President praises diaspora for improving Sino-Indian ties

Warm welcome:President Pranab Mukherjee is received by China's Foreign Affairs Vice-Minister Liu Zhenmin in Guangzhou on Tuesday.— PHOTO: PTI  

President Pranab Mukherjee, who on Tuesday began a four-day visit to China, appreciated the work of the Indian diaspora here in developing Sino-Indian ties.

He was addressing a contingent of Indian citizens, persons of Indian origin and non-resident Indians at a reception organised here, the capital of southern China’s Guangdong province.

The President said that the work of the diaspora, many of whom are engaged in various economic sectors, “has added new dimensions to the already expanding relations between India and China” and termed them “unofficial ambassadors” of the country. He prefaced his remarks by greeting Indian citizens as representatives of “a multi-party democratic system.”

‘Cardinal principle’

Mr. Mukherjee also said that the cardinal principle guiding India China relations has been the recognition that bilateral differences need to be reduced and ways to expand areas of agreement multiplied.

Both countries, he added, had managed to do so substantially — especially since the global financial crisis that was triggered in 2008 — by engaging each other in bilateral and multilateral fora.

Institutions such as G20 have seen greater engagement by India and China and these have been beneficial overall, the President said.

Recalling that India had welcomed China’s inclusion in the World Trade Organisation in 1995, he said New Delhi had always welcomed engagement with Beijing in multi-lateral institutions.

Nuclear Suppliers Group

Mr. Mukherjee’s visit to China — the first in his present capacity — comes at a time when Beijing has reiterated that India’s inclusion in the Nuclear Suppliers Group is contingent upon the country signing the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty.