01:37 GMT +312 December 2019
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    India and China are Two Great Countries with Common Interests in Good Relationship: Indian Minister

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    New Delhi (Sputnik): Dismissing the popular perception of rivalry between the two Asian giants, Indian External Affairs Minister has said that India and China are two great countries, and it is in their common interest to have good relationships.

    Minister S. Jaishankar has emphasised that India and China have an interest in expanding the global processes of deliberation as the rest of the world is "not paying as much attention as it should be".

    "When we talk about rebalancing the world, it is often rebalancing with Asia, and in Asia, it is primarily with India and China. The fact that we are both on the rise, even though we have different institutions and regimes, means that we have a common interest in defending our interests," the Indian foreign minister said on Friday.

    The minister added India and China are competing with each other for space, that is best suited to grow on the international level. Nevertheless, he denied that only "pure competition" exists between them.

    "We find a balance between cooperation and competition…Stop having a one-dimensional vision; real life is more complex! We are two great countries, and it is in our common interest to have good relationships," the minister added on the question of rivalry.

    The statement came on the backdrop of growing competition in East Asia, the Indian Ocean Region and the dispute over Ladakh, which has been declared India's separate federally administrated Union Territory, in a recent announcement by New Delhi.

    After India pulled out of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), a China-led trade pact involving countries primarily in East Asia, serious concerns were raised by analysts that New Delhi's Act East policy may have dwarfed in the longer-term, due to China's rising dominance in the region.

    India has also been facing opposition from China on the issue of declaring Ladakh a separate territory, as Beijing considers it a unilateral decision which undermines "China's territorial sovereignty by unilaterally changing its domestic law".

    Both India and China have had a long-standing dispute over territorial claims in the Ladakh region, which was earlier part of Jammu and Kashmir State before being declared a Union Territory, separate from Ladakh by the Indian parliament. 

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    ASEAN, Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), rivalry, Ladakh region, China, India
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