China considers India as a strategic partner in regional and international affairs, said Niu Qingbao, Consul-General, Consulate of China, Mumbai.
He was speaking after inaugurating the three-day international conference on ‘The Rise of China: Policy Parameters and Prospects’, organised by the Institute for Contemporary Chinese Studies (ICCS), Mahatma Gandhi University, in association with the Indian Council for World Affairs, Association of Asia Scholars, the Institute of Chinese Studies, New Delhi, and the School of International Relations and Politics, MGU, on the university campus here, on Thursday.
Niu Qingbao said that the Sino-Indian war fifty years ago was an exception compared to the long-sustained harmonious relations between the two countries.
“Even the disharmony was not owing to our own making, rather the basis of the dispute - MacMahon Lane - was the outcome of British imperialism. Both India and China were the victims of Western imperialism and Western bullying,” Niu Qingbao said.
According to Qingbao, though China is a rising power, it does not wish to be a superpower flexing its muscles.
“Though China is the second largest economy in the world with a high position in the human development index and with the largest foreign exchange reserves, it is still a developing country with its own problems,” he said.
The most remarkable achievement of China during the last 62 years is that 1,300 million people have been lifted out of poverty, he added.
Delivering the keynote address, Kerala State Higher Education Council vice-chairman T P Sreenivasan said that the greatest challenge of Indian foreign policy in the 21st century is its management of relations with China.
“Though the Sino-Indian relations are said to be improving, there are reasons to be apprehensive about the issues in place.
“Relations may continue to be hostile as long as the border dispute remains and China sustains its strategic ties with Pakistan,” Sreenivasan said.
Speaking on China’s South Asia policy, Delhi University professor of Chinese Studies Madhu Bhalla said that the turn-of-the-century events such as the war on terror and the re-emergence of the United States in the region, the rise of India, the internal fragility of its steadfast partner, Pakistan, and China’s own trade, investment and resource-needs trajectories have dictated a reorientation of Beijing’s policies in the region.
The three-day conference is envisaged to be the Inaugural Programme of the UGC supported Institute for Contemporary Chinese Studies (ICCS), established recently at Mahatma Gandhi University under the innovative Convergence Academia Centres (CAC).