New Delhi: Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar on Monday said he hoped the self-interest of India and China will lead the two countries to forge a better relationship with each other.
Speaking at the second India Leadership Summit organized by the US-based US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF), Jaishankar said the two countries have not had an easy past but it was vital that the two countries have a good future 'together'.
The minister's remarks come about two weeks after Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping held their second informal summit near Chennai with the aim of taking a broad view of how their bilateral relationship was expected to grow in the coming decades.
“The fact is that we are immediate and proximate neighbours... there are so many things that kind of weigh the scales in favour of a modus vivendi between India and China," Jaishankar said. He further said, “There is such an overwhelming case for good relations."
Ties between the two giant neighbours have been weighed down by mutual suspicions stemming from a decades-old border dispute. India and China have not delineated a common border after their 1962 war. There are also tensions over India’s ties with the US, Japan and Southeast Asia as well as China’s ties with Pakistan. A ballooning trade deficit between the two countries in China’s favour hasn’t helped either.
Jaishankar said: "As India and China grow, each one of us will find new balances with the world. We will also find balances with each other and it won’t be a one time determination. It will keep changing changing depending on how we fare. And to do all that its important we have frank, open conversations."
The minister was of the view that if the two countries could not have “frank conversations" then the two countries would not be able to move in the right direction. “I am very encouraged that we have even reached that stage. It bodes well for the relationship," he said.
Both countries were amenable to a solution to their border problem, the minister said adding that this solution was possibly going to be a complex one but the fact that the two sides were amenable to it was important.
On ties with the US, Jaishankar said he was confident the relationship was “extremely strong" despite irritants on the trade front which were not 'insuperable'.