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World has enough space for growth ambitions of India, China: PM

October 27
03:37 2010

PUTRAJAYA, Malaysia: Setting a positive tone ahead of his meeting with Premier Wen Jiabao, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said there is “enormous” possibility of India and China working together as the world has enough space to accommodate the growth ambitions of both the countries.

Singh, while replying to a question on India-China relations after delivering a lecture on ‘India’s Development Experience’, kept aside the controversial issues like stapled visas over which the two countries had a war of words yesterday.

“India and China are both fast growing economies. China happens to be the largest trading partner of India even though there is imbalance (in China’s favor),” he said.

Singh said he was often asked whether India and China were competitors and he responded by saying that there are “enormous possibilities” for the two countries to work together.

“The world is large enough to accommodate the growth ambitions of both India and China,” he said, adding his government was approaching the relations with China with this approach.

The Prime Minister skirted the controversial issues that plague the bilateral relations like issuance of stapled visas by China to people from Jammu and Kashmir over which India is angry as it sees the action amounting to questioning its sovereignty.

China started the practice of issuing the stapled visas about two years back and the issue triggered a major row in July this year when Beijing wanted to give such a visa to India’s Northern Area Commander Lt Gen B S Jaswal.

India responded by suspending high-level defense exchanges for which Lt Gen Jaswal was traveling to Beijing and has repeatedly made it clear that these will remain on “pause” till China reverts to its earlier position on Jammu and Kashmir.

The issue is expected to figure in talks that Singh will have with Wen in Hanoi on Friday, the first top level contact since the July incident. The two leaders will be in the Vietnamese capital for ASEAN Summit.

Earlier, in his ‘Khazanah Global Lecture’, Singh said when he was a student, few dreamt that India and China or other Asian nations would catch up with the industrialized world. “Today, few doubt that a fundamental change in the global economy is underway.”

He said dynamic emerging economies are growing rapidly despite a period of slow growth in the industrialized world.

-PTI

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