China, India Should Get Over Unfortunate Past: Chinese Expert

NEW DELHI – China and India should get over the “infortunate incidents” of the past relating to their festering border issue and open a new page in relations as soon as possible, Li Junru, a top Chinese expert, said here Wednesday.

Li, addressing Indian media on China’s once-in-a-decade leadership change, said talks on the border issue between the two countries had helped to bring in more understanding.

He said “unhappy and unfortunate incidents in the past” over the border have “hindered further development” in relations between the two countries. Five decades of the 1962 India-China war were marked in October-November this year.

But putting behind the past both countries “should open a new page as soon as possible”, said Li. This, he added, “will benefit people of both countries”. Li said he was “happy to see that we are engaged in negotiations, and though a breakthrough yet remains, we have more understanding of each other.”

He was referring to the joint mechanism set up on the border issue. India’s National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon is to meet China’s special representative Dai Bingguo in Beijing later this month to take forward the boundary talks, their 16th such.

The top Chinese expert said both sides “should make compromises… meet each other half way for early settlement of the border issue.”

“I believe when it (border issue) is solved, there will be nothing in the way of China-India relations.” He said China and India relations are very important and the Chinese see Indians as friends.

“We are two large developing countries.. exchanges between the two countries will benefit both sides and contribute to peace in the world.”

The two-way trade between India and China can touch $100 billion by 2015, if both sides “work harder and find ways to boost trade”, said Li. The two-way trade has grown from $4.9 billion in 2000 to $73.9 billion last year.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had met outgoing Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao in Phnom Penh Nov 19, which was their 14th meeting in eight years. During their 45-minute bilateral talks, Wen had told Manmohan Singh he was “very happy they had been able to develop an equation”.

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