Manmohan Singh on China: We have had our differences but have built 'mature' relationship

Brunei/ Jakarta, Oct. 10 (ANI): The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, on Thursday said that though India and China have had their differences along the border, the two countries have steadily built a mature and mutually productive relationship.

"India and China are two civilizational neighbours. Economic cooperation constitutes a very important part of our relationship and the growth potential of our two economies can provide the engine for greater cooperation and can also contribute to prosperity in Asia and beyond," Dr. Singh said in an interview to an Indonesian newspaper, Kompas.

"We have had differences, but we have steadily built a mature and mutually beneficial relationship. We have maintained peace and tranquility on our borders. We also collaborate on a range of regional and global issues," he added.

Dr. Singh also said that he was convinced that there was enough space in the world today for cooperative efforts by all sides to meet their needs and aspirations. "In this century, when global and regional inter-dependence are growing rapidly, cooperation, consultation and coordination, as also respect for international law and resolution of differences through peaceful dialogue, are indispensable for the peace, security and prosperity of all countries," he said.

The Prime Minister also used the opportunity to commend the role of regional forums in the 21st century, and said that India values the various Summits it is part of and believes that a comprehensive economic partnership between the East Asian nations could be reached via the discussions between leaders.

"Regional forums can play a useful role in this process. We, therefore, see immense value in the East Asia Summit, ASEAN Regional Forum, ADMM+ and other cooperative mechanisms in the region. The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership is also a major initiative with great promise for our region," he said.

Dr. Manmohan Singh left for Indonesia from Brunei earlier, where he will be accompanied by External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid and Union Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma.

In his departure statement, Dr. Singh said: "My visits to Brunei Darussalam and Indonesia will further intensify our engagement to our East, which has been at the forefront of our foreign policy, and contribute to peace, prosperity and stability in the Asia Pacific." (ANI)