Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Sunday pitched for dialogues between India and China on various issues, saying differences between the two nations should not be allowed to become disputes.
Both India and China should respect each other and resolve issues through dialogues and join hands together for peace and prosperity, Sitharaman said.
There are various issues such as defence, border disputes, border trades and presence of Indian and Chinese defence forces in the Indian Ocean which can be resolved through continuous dialogues, the Minister said.
“Competition is normal, but contest must not turn into conflict. Differences should not be allowed to become disputes. Solution lies in dialogue, solution lies in peaceful engagement. But for this, mutual trust should be there,” she further said.
However, she added, mutual recognition of sensitivity in each country should be respected and resolved through dialogues.
Nirmala Sitharaman was giving a talk on the theme ‘Towards bridging the Indo-China Relationship for an Emerging Asia’ as part of the 7th Rutum Kamgo Memorial Lecture organized by the Arunachal Pradesh Charitable Trust here at Dorjee Khandu State Convention Center.
Nirmala Sitharaman regarded India and China as key players who are in the centre-stage of all global developments and issues. She said the relation between the two countries has direct impact on everything global; therefore it (the relation) will have to be ‘good’.
She informed that Prime Minister Modi is giving lot of efforts in improving and sustaining a friendly relationship with China and the situation has improved.
“Today we both cannot deny each other’s significance and dominance, especially in Asia and South East Asia. Need of the hour is to cooperate with each other, resolve all issues through dialogue and progress together as because of us both, the 21st century is regarded as the Age of Asia,” Nirmala Sitharaman said.
Through dialogues and meetings at the highest levels, she pointed, a mechanism is being put in place to resolve all issues and advocated trust and confidence building measures at all levels.
Nirmala Sitharaman also delved on few key fields in which both the countries can cooperate and help each other besides trade. “We need to compete but it should never end up in conflict,” she added.
Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu, in his address, said people of Arunachal Pradesh have high expectations from leaders of both the countries, especially Prime Minister Narendra Modi in improving and strengthening Indo-China relationship. He reasoned that Arunachal Pradesh will benefit the most in such a scenario.
For prosperity of Arunachal Pradesh and the North East and for the Act East Policy to succeed, Khandu called to look at the region ‘from the lens of trade’ too. He said if there can be trade through Nathu La Pass in Sikkim and in Uttarakhand through the Lipukekh Pass, why not build the Ledo Road.
He pointed that the Ledo Road or the Stilwell Road, as it is popularly known, was the prime mover for cross-border trade and economic integration in the region.
“If this road is operational, this will not only facilitate the movement of goods but will also help in building cultural and people to people ties,” Khandu said.
The Chief Minister also advocated focusing on building relations with ASEAN countries, which he claimed, will benefit the entire North East immensely.
SOURCE: The Assam Tribune