China and India as the world’s two largest developing countries should focus on enhancing mutual understanding and boosting cooperation rather than dwelling on disputes, said a spokesperson for China’s top legislature Saturday.
At a press conference a day before the National People’s Congress (NPC) convenes its yearly meeting, spokesperson Fu Ying said China and India have over the past decades witnessed rapid development of bilateral trade, which surged from two billion U.S. dollars in the 1990s to last year’s more than 70 billion dollars.
Air connectivity has improved remarkably, with 40 direct flights between the two countries every week, Fu said.
There have also been frequent exchanges of visits by leaders of the two countries, and the two militaries visit each other every year, the spokesperson said, adding China and India have also established a mechanism to jointly combat cross-border crimes and terrorism.
Fu said the two countries have a lot of consensus on regional and international issues.
While some disputes remain, the issues have been discussed properly through diplomatic channels.
She said China and India both face different challenges in development.
The two countries should understand each other more and not let disputes stand in the way of bilateral cooperation.
Speaking of the China-India strategic dialogue held in Beijing in February, Fu said the dialogue had been extensive and deep. “I felt it was quite positive,” she said.
Fu added that projects under China’s Belt and Road Initiative are designed to promote economic development.
“Ultimately, India will also benefit from it.
We must bear in mind the bigger picture when looking at issues.”
The initiative was proposed by China in 2013, aiming to become a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along ancient trade routes.
Official figures show that more than 100 countries and international organizations have joined the initiative, while Chinese businesses have helped build 56 economic and trade cooperation zones in 20 countries along the Belt and Road, with total investment exceeding 18 billion U.S. dollars, helping generate over 1 billion U.S. dollars in tax revenue and more than 160,000 jobs.