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Chinese think tank says China respects India’s policy but needs to improve ties

Amid a continuing border standoff, an influential state-run Chinese think tank here has said that the country should initiate a “China respects India” policy to improve bilateral relations.

“We should implement a ‘China respects India’ policy, on the basis of sovereign equality and mutual respect,” said an article in the state-run Global Times written by Chen Xiankui, Professor of School of Marxism at the Renmin University.

“We can also organise mutual visits between universities and even between religious groups. In these programmes, China needs to be modest and prudent, and put forward the slogan of ‘learning from India’, proposed by Xi in his address in New Delhi outlining China’s thinking,” the article said.

“This will help promote the integration of Asia and motivate India to join the embryonic Sino-Indian axis under the framework of ‘Chinese respect for India’,” it said.

“Even though our current national power is much stronger than India’s, we should not indiscriminately imitate Western traditional realism. Instead, we should insist that China and India have equal rights, obligations and benefits, and we can even actively and appropriately surrender part of our rights and benefits to India,” the article said.

China should support India to be the leader on significant international issues concerning environment, climate and the rights and benefits of other developing countries, to enhance India’s international status, it said.

The article stressed that China should grant same decision-making powers to India in the new Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank mooted by Beijing even if India’s contribution is less than China’s, it added.

The article comes in the backdrop of a sense of unease prevailing between the two countries due to a border standoff in the Ladakh region which had also threatened to overshadow President Xi Jinping’s visit.

The visit was described by both sides as having a positive influence on bilateral ties as it paved the way for more Chinese investments in India.

Chinese military and the Foreign Ministry have also played down the standoff between the troops focussing on the gains of Xi’s visit.

The article said Chinese public and top leaders should stay modest and prudent and sincerely stick to the idea of learning from India.

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