The Asian Age

China down­plays remark by Modi

- K. J. M. VARMA NAREN­DRA MODI

China on Mon­day re­acted guard­edly to PM Naren­dra Modi’s re­marks of ‘ ex­pan­sion­ist’ ten­dency among some coun­tries, say­ing it is not clear what he was re­fer­ring to and re­called his ear­lier com­ments that In­dia and China are strate­gic part­ners

China on Mon­day re­acted guard­edly to Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi’s re­marks of “ex­pan­sion­ist” ten­dency among some coun­tries, say­ing it is not clear what was he re­fer­ring to and re­called his ear­lier com­ments that In­dia and China are strate­gic part­ners.

“We have noted rel­e­vant in­for­ma­tion about Prime Min­is­ter Modi’s visit to Ja­pan. You just men­tioned com­ments made by him I don’t know what is he re­fer­ring to,” Chi­nese for­eign min­istry spokesman Qin Gang told a me­dia brief­ing here when asked about Modi’s re­marks made dur­ing his on­go­ing visit to Ja­pan.

“But I can an­swer the ques­tion by quot­ing his ( Modi’s) words. He said China and In­dia are strate­gic part­ners for common de­vel­op­ment. Good neigh­bourli­ness and co­op­er­a­tion be­tween the two coun­ties is of great sig­nif­i­cance to the pros­per­ity of the whole world and all mankind,” Mr

We have to de­cide if we want to have vikas vaad (de­vel­op­ment) or vis­tar vaad ( ex­pan­sion­ism) which leads to dis­in­te­gra­tion. Those who follow the path of Bud­dha and have faith in vikas vaad, they de­velop.

Prime Min­is­ter

Qin re­called Prime Min­is­ter Modi’s com­ments made on an ear­lier oc­ca­sion.

Mr Modi on Mon­day de­plored the “ex­pan­sion­ist” ten­dency among some coun­tries which “en­croach” upon seas of oth­ers. “We have to de­cide if we want to have ‘ vikas vaad’ ( de­vel­op­ment) or ‘ vis­tar vaad’ ( ex­pan­sion­ism) which leads to dis­in­te­gra­tion. Those who follow the path of Bud­dha and have faith on ‘ vikas vaad’, they de­velop. But we see, those hav­ing ideas of the 18th cen­tury, en­gage in en­croach­ments and en­ter seas ( of oth­ers),” Mr Modi said. The PM did not name any coun­try but the com­ments may be seen as tar­get­ing China which is en­gaged in ter­ri­to­rial dis­putes with a num­ber of its neigh­bours, in­clud­ing In­dia, Ja­pan and some oth­ers in­clud­ing Viet­nam.

Asked how China sees Mr Modi’s visit to Ja­pan ahead of Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping’s pro­posed visit to New Delhi ex­pected to be in the third week of this month, Mr Qin said, “I want to stress that China and In­dia are ma­jor coun­tries. We both ad­vo­cate and prac­tice the five prin­ci­ples of peace­ful co­ex­is­tence.”

“With re­gard to Mr Xi’s visit to In­dia, dur­ing Brics sum­mit, Pres­i­dent Xi had a good meet­ing with Prime Min­is­ter Modi,” he said, adding that the two lead­ers agreed that Xi should visit In­dia in the near fu­ture.

While Mr Qin was cau­tious in his re­ac­tion, an ar­ti­cle in the state- run Global Times’ web edi­tion said Mr Modi at­taches more im­por­tance to Sino- In­dian ties con­sid­er­ing China’s strate­gic im­por­tance to In­dia.

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