Neighbors' trust

(China Daily)
Updated: 2010-12-17 07:59
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As close neighbors boasting the largest emerging economies in Asia, China and India have everything to gain if they deepen mutual political trust and conduct pragmatic cooperation under the principles of equality and reciprocity. The two will have everything to lose if they treat each other as competitive opponents.

It is good to see that Premier Wen Jiabao's visit to India this week will contribute to the building of momentum for bilateral ties to grow stronger and faster.

Wen's visit to India, described by some Western media as a trust-building trip, has come at an important moment when the two Asian giants feel it imperative to push their relationship to a higher level and expand their fields of cooperation.

As always, developing trade, a win-win strategy for both countries, has been the focus of Wen's trip to India. Wen and his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh witnessed the signing of a series of trade agreements worth almost $16 billion on Thursday in New Delhi.

Most of the money will be spent on investment, developing infrastructure and the purchase of Indian products. This is a clear signal that China is honoring its commitment to making concrete efforts to redress the trade imbalance between the two countries.

In recent years, Beijing and New Delhi have been conducting fruitful cooperation on a wide range of fields including agriculture, the environment, urbanization and transport. Trade between the two Asian giants reached $49.8 billion for the first 10 months of this year, and the two nations are expected to achieve their $60 billion trade target for the year.

Closer trade ties and more pragmatic cooperation will not only bring real benefits to the two countries themselves but also contribute to regional and world development and prosperity.

As the two largest emerging markets in Asia, China and India have been increasingly under the spotlight on the world economic stage. A forecast released by the International Monetary Fund earlier this year said China and India will generate 40 percent of the world's growth in the next two years. The two countries, together with 10 ASEAN nations, will shore up almost half of the world's growth.

To build a healthy environment for the growth of bilateral trade, Beijing and New Delhi should continue to build mutual political trust and handle their differences appropriately.

It is important that the two countries could heed each other's major concerns and respect each other's core interests.

As two important players both regionally and in the world arena, Beijing and New Delhi should step up cooperation in various international platforms such as the BRIC (Brazil, Russian, India and China) and G20 forums. In this way, they will contribute more to international efforts addressing many of the woes the world is facing today.