File photo | Narendra Modi meets Xi Jinping during the 11th BRICS Summit | PTI
File image of Narendra Modi meeting Chinese President Xi Jinping during the 11th BRICS Summit | PTI
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New Delhi: Commemorating 70 years of diplomatic ties, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said India looked forward to developing a “closer partnership” with China even as he enumerated that the coronavirus pandemic served as a reminder of the interconnected nature of the world today.

“The COVID-19 pandemic was a reminder to us of the interconnected nature of our world today and the need therefore to adopt a truly global response to it,” Modi said in a message to his Chinese counterpart Premier Li Keqiang.

The Ministry of External Affairs released a statement quoting Modi’s message.

India and China established diplomatic relations on 1 April 1950.

“He (PM) looked forward to working with the Chinese Premier to further deepen and strengthen our Closer Developmental Partnership and take it to even greater heights in the years to come,” the statement said.

To commemorate the occasion, Modi, President Ram Nath Kovind and External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar exchanged wishes with their Chinese counterparts Li, Xi Jinping and Wang Yi, respectively, according to the ministry.

“As such, good relations between India and China are conducive not only for our respective countries but are also important from the perspective of peace, stability and prosperity of our region and the world,” Modi said in his message.

In his letter to Xi, President Kovind wrote India and China have “made considerable progress especially in the last few years in enhancing our bilateral engagement in a number of areas, including political, economic and people-to-people ties”.

Writing to Wang, Jaishankar said ties between the two sides “have expanded substantially and become increasingly diverse and multifaceted” over the last seven decades.

Also read: India receives second batch of medical supplies for Covid-19 from China

‘Dragon-elephant tango’

Chinese Ambassador to India Sun Weidong said both sides should now explore newer avenues of growth and cooperation.

“Let’s take a dragon-elephant tango on a glorious journey in the next 70 years and write a new chapter,” Sun said in a video message posted on microblogging site Twitter. He added that both countries should “explore a way for major neighbouring countries to get along with each other”.

“Only through mutual respect consultation on an equal footing, openness and mutual trust can the two sides correctly view each other’s development intention, deepen the basic judgement that China and India are partners rather than rivals representing opportunities rather than threats to each other,” he said.

Sun said, “…managing difference is the assurance the two sides should always bear in mind the overall picture of bilateral relations put differences in appropriate places and deal with them properly.”

The envoy added that China and India co-exist with each other in four ways — leading, transmitting, shaping and integrating.

Also read: China hasn’t just won its war on coronavirus. It’s also beating US in global diplomacy


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