External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid on Monday said the dawning of an Asian Century will depend a lot on the nature of interaction between the two largest growing economies in Asia, India and China.
Addressing the annual convention of the Indian Association of International Studies on "The Dawning of the Asian Century: Emerging Challenges before Theory and Practices of International Relations in India," here, Khurshid said: "The dawning of an Asian Century, of course, will depend a lot on the nature of interaction between the two largest growing economies in Asia, India and China. India was the first non-communist country to set up an embassy in China following the establishment of diplomatic relations in April 1950."
"It is true that our two countries went to war in 1962. However, and specially following the historic visit of Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi to China in 1988, we have focused on deepening and widening our bilateral relations despite differences over our common border. This policy has yielded substantial results," he added.
"Whether we will see an Asian Century become a sustainable reality or not will depend greatly on how India and China manage their bilateral relations, and their positions on major issues in international affairs. Our trade figures, projected to reach USD100 billion in the next few years, are well known," he said.
"Our investment cooperation, currently valued at about half a billion dollars by each country in the other, is equally significant. We have a common interest in increased people-to-people contacts, which will reinvigorate the flow of ideas and trade that was the hallmark of the original Silk Road that connected India to China," he added.
Stating that the challenges before us essentially relate to how we are able to build a mutually beneficial bilateral relationship on the foundations of these building blocks, Khurshid said: "This will influence the positions that India and China take on the great issues facing the international community in the coming decades. It is our belief that we have enough opportunities to cooperate with China in the creation of an Asian Century."
Further emphasizing that the India's foreign policy is in the process of implementing a wide-ranging set of initiatives taken by us specifically in Asia, Khurshid said: " To our east, we are working towards creating an economic community that will span South, South East and East Asia through the ASEAN and East Asia Summit processes. To our south, we are proposing a new direction to create synergies among the littoral states of the Indian Ocean region."
"To our north, our Connect Central Asia policy is in the process of reinvigorating the old linkages symbolized by the Silk Road. And to our west, we have underlined our interest in helping maintain peace and stability in West Asia, especially in the Gulf region, which plays a central role for our energy security and impacts directly on our economic prospects," he added. (ANI)