India and China have to narrow down differences and build on convergences by exploiting the potential of Panchsheel, the five principles of peaceful co-existence propounded by the two countries along with Myanmar in 1954, Vice President Hamid Ansari said on Saturday.
“In our respective bilateral relations, our common interests far outweigh our differences,” Ansari said while addressing a commemorative meeting of the 60th anniversary of the five principles in which Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Myanmar counterpart Thien Sein also took part.
“On the way forward, we have to build on our convergences and narrow down our differences. Panchsheel can help us exploit this potential for cooperation and come up with fresh, innovative initiatives to improve the lives of our people,” Ansari said.
Panchsheel was enunciated by former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru along with his then Chinese counterpart Zhou Enlai. Myanmar subsequently endorsed it.
Ansari, who is on a five-day visit to China, said India, China and Myanmar are bound by age-old linkages and geography.
“We may be at different stages of development but we can learn from each other’s national experiences,” he said.
“We need a new paradigm for global action. Our destinies are intertwined. Our quest is, should be, for a framework in which opportunities and challenges for the betterment of our societies co-exist,” he said.
In his address, Vice President said besides being ancient civilizations and neighbours, India and China are also strategic partners.
“Historically, there has been much that has bound us together, not merely through the exchange of goods and commodities but through a flourishing interchange of ideas, values and philosophies,” he said.
About the relevance of Panchsheel, he said on the global level, it preserves the right of all nations to choose their own path while interacting with others on the basis of mutual respect and equality.
Panchsheel provides the framework within which a just and equitable global order can be achieved to the satisfaction and benefit of all, he said.
On the issue of relationship with the neighbour Vice-President said,”The Constitution of India enjoins the State to endeavour to promote international peace and security and to maintain just and honourable relations between nations
“We gather here today to reaffirm the timeless relevance of Panchsheel in establishing a peaceful, stable, prosperous and secure world. As the co-originators of Panchsheel, it is our duty to revitalise our friendly relations and to promote cooperation as the only way forward towards the realisation of our common goals of progress and prosperity for our peoples,” he added.