India-China Relations Not ‘Zero Sum Game’


New Delhi: The relationship between India and China is not a “zero sum game” and the two nations should approach each other with strategic maturity, Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar said on Friday.

Describing the bilateral ties as “complicated”, he said but one should not ignore the collaborative and convergent side of the relationship as well. Asserting that India expected China to be appreciative of its interests, especially when they are not in conflict with those of Beijing, he said, “Combating terrorism is one such area and sanctioning of well-known terrorist leaders and organisations should not emerge as an issue of difference. “Nor should reservations on developmental issues, such as India’s predictable access to international cooperation and investments in the field of civil nuclear energy.”

Jaishankar was referring to China blocking India’s bid to get a UN ban on Pakistan-based terrorist and JeM chief Masood Azhar as well as Beijing scuttling India’s entry in the Nuclear Suppliers Group. Sino-Indian ties are a subject of heightened attention and part of the reason is the weight of history that this particular relationship carries on its shoulders, he said.

Some of it also arises from the great potential that it holds and the impact that its direction could have on regional and global politics, he added. “The report card of our ties for the last three decades is much stronger than many assume,” he said.

Noting that from a situation of limited contacts and content, India-China relations have today transitioned out of their state of abnormalcy, Jaishankar said one must give due credit to the efforts of successive governments on both sides who have ensured peace and tranquillity on the border, even as negotiations on its settlement continue.

“Difficult problems, some of them pertaining to sovereignty, have not been side-stepped,” he said.