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We want peace and stability in Sout

We want peace and stability in South Asia: Tang Jiaxuan

The Hindu (New Delhi)
July 22, 2000

NEW DELHI, JULY 21. The Chinese Foreign Minister, Mr. Tang Jiaxuan is
arriving here tonight for a round of consultations with the External
Affairs Minister, Mr. Jaswant Singh, tomorrow. He is also expected to
call on the Prime Minister Mr. Atal Bhari Vajpayee. After his talks in
New Delhi, Mr. Tang is travelling to Pakistan.

In written answers to questions sent in by C. Raja Mohan, Mr. Tang
covered a range of issues that have a bearing on Sino-Indian relations.
The following is the text of the questions and answer:

C. Raja Mohan: how do you assess the direction of Sino-Indian relations
after President K. R. Narayanan's visit to China at the end of May?

Mr. Tang Jiaxuan: This year marks the 50th anniversary of the
establishment of the diplomatic relations between China and India. The
two countries have held a series of celebrations, among which the
successful visit to China by President, K. R. Narayanan in May in
particular, has brought the development of the bilateral relations to a
new high. During the visit, the leaders of both countries reached broad
consensus on the future developments of the Sino-Indian relations, thus
enriching the good-neighbourly and friendly relationship between the two
countries and laying a solid foundation for the further development of
the bilateral relations.

The Chinese side has always maintained that China and India, both as
important powers in Asia and developing countries in the world, share
similar historical backgrounds and face same tasks today. Their
commonalties far outweigh their differences. There is no reason why the
two countries cannot live in amity, treat each other as equals, trust
each other or seek common development. It is both the obligation and
responsibility for China and India to make their contributions to peace
and development of the world. We believe that the Sino-Indian relations
will be further consolidated and developed in the new century, so long
as both sides strictly adhere to the five principles of peaceful
co-existence, view and handle the bilateral relations in accordance with
their long-term interests and strategic perspective.

How do you see the opportunities for cooperation between India and China
on the international and regional arena?

As the two biggest developing countries in the world, China and India
share common interests and similar views on many major international and
regional issues. Both countries uphold the ways of development in
conformity with their own national conditions. They oppose hegemonism,
power politics and "neo-interventionism". They stand for promoting world
multipolarity process, while opposing unipolar world, and are committed
to the establishment of a just and equitable international political and
economic order. Facing the complicated and changeable international
situation today, it is not only possible but also necessary for China
and India to strengthen coordination and cooperation in safeguarding the
legal rights and interests of the developing countries and promoting
world peace and stability.

Can India and China cooperate in the worldwide battle against
international terrorism and forces of extremism? Will China support
India's Comprehensive Convention Against Terrorism at the United

China has all along opposed and condemned international terrorism of any
kind, opposed the use of terrorist activities as ways and means to reach
political objective and opposed all kinds of violent captivities of
terrorism by any country, any organisation, any group and any person in
violation of the universally recognised international law and norms.
China supports all the efforts by the world community to crack down
international terrorism. As for any specific proposal against terrorism,
China hopes it will be approved on reaching consensus after full

What is your view on the offer of the Dalai Lama for unconditional talks
with the Chinese Government?

As for the issue of dialogue with the Dalai Lama, the Chinese Government
has repeatedly reiterated its stand that the door of dialogue is always
open only if the Dalai Lama abandons his demand for "Tibetan
Independence", stops all his activities of splitting the motherland and
makes a public statement recognising that Tibet is an inalienable part
of the Chinese territory, that Taiwan is a province of China and that
the Government of the People's Republic of China is the sole legitimate
Government representing the whole of China. The problem we face today is
that the Dalai Lama has never stopped his activities aiming at splitting
the motherland and sabotaging the national unity. Therefore, it is the
Dalai Lama who should be responsible for the dialogue that cannot start.

India wants acceleration of the Sino-Indian negotiations on the
delineation of the Line of Actual Control between the two countries.
How, do you see the prospects for bilateral talks on the boundary
dispute in the coming months?

The Chinese side has along attached importance to checking and
determining the alignment of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and put
forward a number of positive proposals and suggestions. During the 11th
and 12th rounds of talks of the Joint Working Group (JWG) on the
Sino0Indian boundary issue, the two sides have reached consensus on
accelerating the process of LAC. I believe that this process will go on
smoothly as long as both sides follow the principles of "mutual
understanding and mutual accommodation", strictly stick to the two
agreements signed by the two Governments and conduct friendly
negotiations, thus creating favourable atmosphere and conditions for the
final just and reasonable solution of the boundary issue.

There is deep concern in India at reports of continuing Chinese support
to the missile programme in Pakistan. Is there any possibility of
Beijing reconsidering this support for Pakistan?

China and Pakistan enjoy normal relations between sovereign countries
including the relations of military trade, which conform to
international law and norms. Their relations are just like the relations
India enjoys with some other countries. As a close neighbour of both
India and Pakistan, what China wants to see is peace and stability, not
arms race in South Asia. We hold the view that India and Pakistan should
settle their differences through dialogue and by peaceful means so as to
work together to promote peace, security and stability in this region.

China is concerned about the development of the theatre and national
defences by the United States. But it appears that the export of
missiles and related technology by China may be providing a
justification for TMD and NMD. What is your response?

The developments of the TMD and NMD by the United States have caused
widespread concern in the international community and met with
opposition from a large number of countries. The United States have
claimed that the main purpose of the developments of the TMD and NMD was
to counter the missile threat from the so-called "countries of concern"
such as the DPRK and others. But the recent situation in the Korean
peninsula once again shows that the excuse of the United States are

China has always taken cautions and responsible attitude towards the
export of missiles and related items and exercised strict and effective
export control. It is the first time that I heard the remark that
China's export of missiles and related technology might provide a
justification for the U.S. to develop TMD and NMD. If the remark does go
round, it is nothing but an irresponsible gossip.