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Oct 24, 2013 at 10:38am IST

Peace at India-China border important for improving ties, says PM

Beijing: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday said that peace at the India-China border is essential for mutual confidence between the two countries. The statement came a day after Singh signed defence agreement with China in Beijing.

"Peace at Indo-China border essential for mutual confidence and expansion of our relationship and we can achieve it by adhering to our agreements. We should reaffirm a commitment to spirit of mutual respect and sensitivity to each others interests and sovereignty," said Singh.

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Addressing future leaders at the Chinese Communist Party's Central Party School, Singh said old theories of alliances and containment are no longer relevant.

"India and China cannot be contained and our recent history is testimony to this. Nor should we seek to contain others," he said. The Prime Minister was received with a standing ovation and his speech on "India, China - A New Era" was given a huge round of applause by the audience.

In his seven principles of engagement, Singh said, "One should reaffirm an unwavering commitment to the principles of 'Panchsheel' and conduct our relationship in a spirit of mutual respect, sensitivity to each other's interests and sovereignty, and mutual and equal security."

He said India has welcomed President Xi Jinping's concept of a new type of great power relations. "This is a contemporary development of the Panchsheel or Five Principles of co-existence, elaborated by Prime Minister (Jawaharlal) Nehru and Premier Zhou Enlai in the 1950s," Singh said.

The Prime Minister, who is China on three days visit, signed several agreements including one on border defence along the Line of Actual Control with China. There had been incidents of Chinese incursion at the Line of Actual Control in Jammu and Kashmir a few months back.

The agreement will increase meetings of border personnel, army commanders and Defence Ministry officials. There will be more direct tele-contact along the LAC and The armies won't 'tail' or 'chase' each others patrols. The Border Defence Cooperation is major Confidence Building Measure (CBM) to avoid flare-ups at LAC.

The address to the Communist Party Central School is a rare honour given to visiting leaders from abroad. The Prime Minister also spelt out a six-point roadmap of areas offering cooperation between the two countries and invited Chinese investment in Indian plans to invest USD one trillion in infrastructure in the next five years.

(With additional inputs from PTI)