Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said Wednesday there were “enormous possibilities” to work with China, playing down simmering tensions between the giant Asian neighbours.
“Are India and China in competition? I sincerley believe that there are enornmous possibilities of our two countries to work together,” Singh told a gathering of business leaders in Malaysia’s administrative capital, Putrajaya.
“I look upon the world as a large enough place to accomodate the growth and ambitions of both India and China and it is in that sense that we approach India-China relations,” he said. Border disputes, a short war in 1962 and the presence in India of Tibet’s spiritual leader the Dalai Lama have all contributed to an atmosphere of suspicion.
India is also watchful of China’s growing presence in the region, including investments in ports in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Pakistan. The Indian premier is on a three-day visit to Malaysia, after a trip to Japan where New Delhi agreed to provide a stable supply of rare earth minerals to Tokyo amid a diplomatic row between China and Japan.
Japan’s relations with China hit rock bottom in a row following Japan’s arrest of a Chinese trawlerman last month in disputed waters.