Seeking China's backing for a permanent UNSC seat for India, External Affairs Minister S M Krishna today called on Beijing to "review" its policies on UN reforms to "welcome" its neighbour to the core group of the world body.
"Indeed, even on the complex issue of UN reforms, it is time for China to review previously held positions and welcome the presence of in the Security Council of a nation with which it has much in common," Krishna said speaking on the topic 'India and China in the 21st century world' at a prominent think tank in Beijing.
He said the interests of India and China converged on several issues, including climate change and world trade, and the two nations could boost each other through active cooperation.
"As developing societies our convergence is manifest on issues like climate change and global trade rules. Given their shared interest in creating a more contemporary order the two counties can advance their respective interest much better through active cooperation," he said.
China, a close ally of Pakistan, has been saying that it supports India's aspirations to play an important role at the UN, but wants an overall reform of the world body. China has also not backed Japan, the other Asian contender for a permanent UNSC seat.
Krishna, who began his four-day visit to China last night was expected to take up the issue during his talks with the Chinese Foreign Minister, Yang Jiechi and Premier Wen Jiabao tomorrow.
In his address and later in the interaction with the media, Krishna presented an upbeat picture of the Sino-Indian ties saying that bilateral issues between the two countries are "under total control" and the two countries have evolved a mechanism to solve complex issues like boundary demarcation.
Counselling patience to resolve the border issue he said "we have agreed upon a mechanism in order to find a mutually acceptable solution to this complex problem".
The special representatives of the two countries have had 13 meetings so far.
"It is going to be a time consuming affair and one has to be patient to deal with it. The special representatives are aware of their responsibilities and we hope a mutually acceptable solution can be arrived at," he said.
Krishna said "the true test of our maturity" lies in how the two nations handle their differences. "Even on an issue like the unresolved boundary question that is often the subject of media speculation, it is always not appreciated that considerable progress has actually been made," he said. He said the peace tranquillity agreement of 1993, the confidence building measures of 1996 and the guiding principles and political parameters of 2005 have all demonstrated that China and India had the ability "to increase convergence and deepen mutual understanding on this complex issue through patient negotiations".
The issue of special visas on a separate piece of paper to residents of Jammu and Kashmir and of projects undertaken by China in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK), would figure in talks with Chinese leaders, he said replying to a question.
He also said the Indian military was not competing with China in modernising its armed forces, and the Indian army just has the "right size" to defend the territory.
"We do not believe in competition with any other country so far our armed forces are concerned... That is what we need and will pursue that," he said replying to a question.
Asked whether India is worried about Chinese domination in the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) whose leaders are meeting later this month in Brazil, Krishna said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh would be attending the summit and India hoped the nations would "understand each other".
"We hope we will understand each other" at the summit where India will present "its own views," he said.
In his speech, Krishna said the bilateral cooperation forged by the two countries specially on climate change negotiations should be extended to the issue "concerning the instability in our neighbourhood" and to face the challenges in the "immediate periphery" of the two countries.
Without directly referring to Pakistan, he said: "As pluralistic societies, we are threatened by political ideologies that are based on narrow loyalties, often justified by distorting religious beliefs. These forces are against progress and modernity and have only brought misery wherever they have dominated".
Krishna said for both India and China stability at home stands in sharp contrast to extreme instability in "our shared neighbourhood" and they cannot afford to remain "passive spectators".
Krishna said states that use narrow ideologies "as instruments to advance their political interests find themselves consumed by these very destructive ideas... It is critical for our future that we cooperate actively in meeting common challenges. Our ties were never a zero sum game. Today, it is all the more important that we take an enlightened and long term view of our self-interests".
Referring to the cooperation struck at the Copenhagen climate talks where Singh and his Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao helped in bringing about an accord, he said, it had "decisively sent out a message to the entire world that here are two developing economies who are coming together for the purpose of making the world a better place".