Li: Stronger In­dia ties to ben­e­fit both na­tions

China Daily (Canada) - - CHINA - By PU ZHENDONG and ZHANG YUNBI

Bei­jing and New Delhi should see each other’s de­vel­op­ment as pro­vid­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties and work closely to fa­cil­i­tate the con­struc­tion of a re­gional eco­nomic cor­ri­dor, Pre­mier Li Ke­qiang said on Thurs­day.

“China and In­dia, both civ­i­liza­tions with long his­to­ries and the world’s largest de­vel­op­ing coun­tries and emerg­ing mar­kets, are nat­u­ral co­op­er­a­tive part­ners,” Li said in a tele­phone call with his In­dian coun­ter­part, Naren­dra Modi, who was sworn in to of­fice on Mon­day.

The tele­phone con­ver­sa­tion was Modi’s first with a for­eign govern­ment leader since tak­ing over as prime min­is­ter.

Li said China and In­dia need to im­prove trust, dis­cover more ar­eas with shared in­ter­ests and jointly pro­mote the es­tab­lish­ment of an eco­nomic cor­ri­dor that con­nects the two coun­tries, as well as Myan­mar and Bangladesh.

China raised the pro­posal of build­ing a Bangladesh-China-In­dia-Myan­mar Eco­nomic Cor­ri­dor dur­ing Li’s visit to In­dia last May. The four coun­tries es­tab­lished an in­ter-govern­ment sys­tem to help boost eco­nomic co­op­er­a­tion in De­cem­ber.

Chen Li­jun, an ex­pert on South­east Asia stud­ies at Yun­nan Academy of So­cial Sci­ences, said In­dia has sped up its pace of boost­ing the BCIM eco­nomic cor­ri­dor since Li’s visit.

“In­dia has a strong de­mand for bol­ster­ing co­op­er­a­tion with China. China is an emerg­ing mar­ket and a lo­co­mo­tive of the eco­nomic growth of de­vel­op­ing coun­tries. In­dia wants to take a ride on it,” Chen said.

Li said bi­lat­eral re­la­tions have de­vel­oped sub­stan­tially over the years due to joint ef­forts from both sides.

“China and In­dia have ex­plored a way of get­ting along with each other through ex­pand­ing co­op­er­a­tion and prop­erly man­ag­ing dif­fer­ences,” Li said.

This year marks the 60th an­niver­sary of the an­nounce­ment of the Five Prin­ci­ples of Peace­ful Co­ex­is­tence, which was ini­tially en­dorsed by China, In­dia and Myan­mar (then Burma) in 1954.

Li said co­op­er­a­tion and com­mon de­vel­op­ment be­tween Bei­jing and New Delhi will ben­e­fit both coun­tries and con­trib­ute to global ef­forts to tackle the de­vel­op­ment prob­lem.

De­scrib­ing the re­la­tions with China as “a pri­or­ity of In­dian diplo­macy”, Modi said In­dia is will­ing to learn from China’s de­vel­op­ment.

“The new govern­ment will pay high at­ten­tion to China-In­dian ties from a strate­gic per­spec­tive,” Modi said, adding that he wel­comed greater eco­nomic en­gage­ment be­tween the two coun­tries.

Boost­ing the do­mes­tic econ­omy is “Modi’s top pri­or­ity”, and the In­dian pub­lic has placed high hope on Modi’s eco­nomic tal­ents, said Lou Chun­hao, an ex­pert on South Asia stud­ies at the China In­sti­tute of Con­tem­po­rary In­ter­na­tional Re­la­tions.

“We are will­ing to work with China to ad­vance co­op­er­a­tion in all ar­eas and work to solve cur­rent prob­lems through di­a­logue,” Modi told Li. Con­tact the writ­ers at puzhen­dong@chi­ and zhangyunbi@chi­

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