India, China showed ‘tremendous maturity’: Khurshid

New Delhi, May 8 (IANS) External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid Wednesday said he was “comfortable” with the way India and China showed “tremendous maturity” in handling the border stand-off, an incident that had threatened to cast a shadow over his May 9-10 Beijing trip.

“The incident was handled at proportional, limited and localized level. This fundamental understanding was developed over the past several years,” Khurshid told resident Chinese journalists on the eve of his first visit to China as foreign minister.

The three-week stand-off ended this week after New Delhi and Beijing resolved the row through diplomatic channels and peaceful military mechanisms.

Khurshid expressed optimism over the future of Sino-India relations, saying both countries had “huge opportunities” to carry out cooperation in bilateral and multilateral frameworks.

Khurshid said he was expecting to build good working and personal relations with his new Chinese counterpart, Foreign Minister Wang Yi, during his visit.

He expected India-China relations to move on to a higher level and open a “new chapter” this year with exchange of visits by top leaders of the two countries.

“Bilateral relations are in the right court,” Xinhua news agency quoted him as saying.

Khurshid said India is not only satisfied with but will reciprocate the friendly signals sent by Chinese leaders earlier this year, which he said would help further promote the relations to a new chapter of history between the two countries with “good and sound” foundation laid by the leaders in the past 10 years.

“As our prime minister (Manmohan Singh) says, the world is large enough for India and China to work and develop together comfortably,” he said, adding that maintaining good ties were important not only for both nations but for Asia and the world.

He said both were ancient Asian civilizations and should “accommodate” each other’s fundamental interests on issues like border dispute with patience.

Khurshid also hoped both countries can enhance economic and trade ties by investing in each other and cutting trade imbalance.

“If Chinese companies make huge investment in India and employ thousands of Indians, it would greatly promote diplomatic ties as well as the people-to-people contacts are very important,” he said.

“We need to give substance to people to believe that the 21st century will be an Asian century,” he added, while calling for strengthening cooperation in multilateral framework such as WTO and BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa).

“We can learn from each other’s experiences. Although we cannot be absolutely, completely alike, we could align our position in future over various issues,” he added.

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