New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today set the tone for 2017 in India-China relations with a clear message -- that two large neighbouring countries may have differences but they need to show respect for each other's concerns. In his inaugural address to the government's flagship geopolitical meet - the Raisina Dialogue in Delhi, attended by representatives of 65 nations -- the Prime Minister said he saw the development of India and China as an "unprecedented opportunity for our two countries and the world".
- Saw development as "unprecedented opportunity": PM on Indo-China relation
- Dialogue is possible if it walks away from terror: PM's message to Pak
- PM Modi was speaking at inaugural session of Raisina Dialogue in Delhi
"At the same time, it not unnatural for two large neighbouring powers to have some differences. Both countries need to show sensitivity and respect for each other's core concerns and interests," he said.
Ties with China have been under increasing strain last year following China's resistance to India's admission into the elite Nuclear Suppliers Group. Strengthening its ties with Pakistan, China has blocked the listing of Jaish-e Mohammad chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist by the United Nations -an area of priority for India.
The Chinese media too, has taken a belligerent stance, warning India against using what it called the "Dalai Lama card" and said New Delhi was "shortsighted".
At today's inaugural session of Raisina Dialogues, PM Modi also had a tough message for Pakistan. Dialogue, he told Pakistan, is only possible if it walks away from terror.
"I want peaceful ties with entire South Asia," the Prime Minister said. "That vision led me to invite leaders of all SAARC nations including Pakistan, to my swearing-in. For this reason, I have also travelled to Lahore. But India alone cannot walk the path to peace. It also has to be Pakistan's journey ... Pakistan has to walk away from terror if it wants dialogue with India."
The Raisina Dialogue is modelled on Singapore's Shangri La dialogue. This year, there are over 470 participants from 69 countries including UK foreign minister Boris Johnson , former Afghan President Hamid Karzai, former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.