India and China have not had an easy past but it is vital for both the countries to have a good future together, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said on Monday, asserting that complicated bilateral issues were amenable to solutions.
Referring to the recent informal summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Mamallapuram, Jaishankar said it is important that the leaders of the two countries have frank, open and candid conversations.
“I think it is important that the two countries at the highest level have that kind of open discussions. If you can’t talk to each other freely, you are really not going to move in the right direction,” the external affairs minister said at an interaction organised by the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum.
This bodes well for the relationship between the two countries, Jaishankar noted.
“India and China have not had an easy past but I think it is vital for both the countries that they have a good future. A good future not by themselves but a good future together,” he said.
Referring to the vexed issues between the two countries, Jaishankar said there have also been difficulties in the past.
“As we both rise, you will have autonomous processes, each one of us will find new balances with the world but we will also find balances with each other and it won’t be a one-time determination. It will keep changing depending on how we fare,” he said.
Land boundary issue is one of the contentious issues between India and China. The armies of the two countries were locked in a 73-day stand-off at Doklam in 2017.
“I am not in denial of any of the very complicated issues in that relationship. I do feel each one of them is amenable to a solution, possibly a complex one but still amenable to a solution, and I would very much hope that the self interest of each country would lead them to a better relationship with the other,” Jaishankar said.
The two countries are immediate neighbours with over a billion people each and India is on the path of becoming the number three economy after China, he said.
All this weighs the scales in favour of sort of a modus vivendi between the two Asian giants, the minister said.
“There is so much and overwhelming common sense case for good relations. I can’t imagine that if anybody frankly could make a credible case otherwise,” he said.