FM: China not seeking to contain India

Updated: 2014-09-10 13:24


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China is not seeking to contain India by military or other means, a senior diplomat said on Tuesday, ahead of a visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping next week to the country as the final leg of his four-country tour in South Asia.

China's rising economic presence may stoke concerns in New Delhi that China is creating a "string of pearls" that surrounds India and threatens its security.

Assistant Foreign Minister Liu Jianchao said that the leaders of China and India had pledged to work together to manage and control their differences, adding that they shared common interests as large developing nations.

"India is a country with which China has been friendly for thousands of years," Liu told a news briefing on Tuesday.

"China has never, and will not, use so-called military or other means to try and hem in India," he added. "There is no strategic competition between China and India in our relationship and there is certainly no such word as 'surround'." 

"Whether the governments or the militaries, both countries have the strong intention to maintain the peace and tranquillity on the border," he said.

China and India have made a particular effort to reach out to each other since Modi's election, and this will be Xi's first trip to the country as head of state.

Xi starts his trip in Tajikistan at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit.

After that, Xi will travel to the Maldives, Sri Lanka and India in that order, on a visit which ends on Sept. 19, Liu said, without giving exact dates for when he will be in each country.