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State Councillor Dai Bingguo Gives an Interview to Press Trust of India

(chinadaily.com.cn) Updated: 2012-12-13 18:58

State Councillor Dai Bingguo gave an interview to the resident correspondent in Beijing from Press Trust of India. The full text of the interview is as follows:

Question 1: You were engaged with several Indian officials, especially Brajesh Mishra (who died recently) and the present National Security Advisor, Mr. Shiv Shankar Menon and others. I would like to hear your impressions about them. Can you please recall some key moments of the dialogue process and the breakthroughs?

Answer: The special representatives' meeting mechanism on the China-India boundary question was launched in 2003 by the prime ministers of the two countries. Since then, I have held 15 meetings with four Indian special representatives.

Mr. Brajesh Mishra was the first Indian special representative. He was a seasoned diplomat and once had a conversation with Chairman Mao Zedong on the Tian'anmen rostrum. Mr. Mishra and I started the negotiation process to formulate the political parameters and guiding principles for the settlement of the boundary question. The second Indian special representative was Mr. J.N. Dixit, a veteran career diplomat. My meetings with him produced constructive results. It is much regrettable that both of them left us forever. The third Indian special representative I worked with was Mr. M.K. Narayanan. We concluded the Agreement on the Political Parameters and Guiding Principles and then started discussions on the framework for a boundary settlement. The current Indian special representative, Mr. S.S. Menon, served as the Indian ambassador to China and is deeply knowledgeable about China. He and I have had in-depth discussions on the settlement framework and reached consensus on quite some issues. I have forged good working relationship and personal friendship with all four Indian special representatives. We have worked together to seek the settlement of the boundary question and grow the bilateral relationship. Our talks have received high attention and guidance from the leaders of both countries. During each of my visits to India for the boundary talks, I have been granted a cordial meeting by the Indian prime minister.

Question 2: This year is the 50th year of the 1962 Sino-Indian war. Both countries had a strong emotional relationship nurtured by the leaders before the war with slogans like Hindi-Chini Bhai Bhai. How difficult is it to restore the relations? Is it possible to take them to that level?

Answer: In over 2,000 years of exchanges between China and India, we have been friends for 99.9 percent of the time, while unpleasant experience took up only 0.1 percent. More and more people of vision in India believe that our two countries should cast off the shadow of history in a forward-looking spirit, and the past should guide rather than hinder our endeavor to build a bright future together. I fully agree with this view. China is fully committed to pursuing peaceful development and developing friendly and cooperative relations with India. As the saying goes, nothing is impossible to a willing mind. It seems to me that as long as we are devoted to staying friends forever, never treat each other as enemy, pursue long-term peace and friendly coexistence and vigorously promote win-win cooperation, we will be capable of creating miracles to the benefit of our peoples and the entire mankind.

Question 3: Many in India agree that China pursued a deep engagement policy with India under President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao. How do you look at their contribution, in a way your own contribution to the Sino-India relations, and Indian leadership's responses to it? How China's new leadership looks at its future relations with India?

Answer: Over the past decade, China-India relations have enjoyed rapid and in-depth growth and become more stable and mature.

The burgeoning bilateral relations are attributable to the high importance and personal attention given by the leaders of both countries. During the last ten years, the two sides maintained frequent high-level visits. President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao each met with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh over ten times in bilateral and multilateral settings, developing genuine friendship with the Indian prime minister. The leaders of both sides agree that the China-India relations have gone beyond the bilateral scope and acquired global and strategic significance. We are partners in win-win cooperation, not rivals in competition. There is enough space in the world for the development of both China and India and enough areas for our two countries to cooperate in. These visions and fundamental views have guided the sound growth of the bilateral ties.

Our relationship has gained increasing importance in China's foreign relations. As the person in charge of China’s foreign affairs and as China's special representative on the boundary question, it is my honor to have witnessed the growth of the bilateral relations and done my bit to promote it.

The recently concluded 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China set out the guiding principles and policies for China's development, and highlighted China's commitment to an independent foreign policy of peace and the path of peaceful development. We will continue to concentrate on development with every determination. At the same time, we will continue to promote friendship and partnership with our neighbors, consolidate friendly relations and deepen mutually beneficial cooperation with them, and ensure that China's development will bring more benefits to our neighbors. To develop good neighborly relations with India is China's longstanding strategic choice. After the 18th Party Congress, China will place more importance on developing the strategic and cooperative partnership with India. I firmly believe that the future of China-India relations will be even brighter.

Question 4: You are the Chinese official who had the longest engagement with India on Sino-India border dispute. How much ground have we covered and what are the prospects for settlement? What is your message in this regard for future negotiations and for people of both countries? How can an agreement be made possible?

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