Beijing: Praising India for its stand over the South China Sea dispute, Beijing advised its neighbour to keep away from the disputed waters in a bid to safeguard the bilateral ties between both the countries.

“India has never intervened in the age-old territorial water dispute and we hope that it will stay away from it even further,” said Beijing in a released statement ahead of Chinese President Hu Jintao’s visit to New Delhi next week to participate in the fourth BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) summit over cooperation in the field of economic development.

It is apparently clear that China has intensified its attempts to improve the diplomatic relations with India and is keen at resolving the issues that have always emerged as bone of contention between them. The presence of Chinese companies in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) and oil exploration in South China Sea by the Indian companies has also been a bone of contention between the two sides.

When asked in this regard, a top official of Chinese Foreign Ministry said, “Chinese companies are present in PoK in order to facilitate the rehabilitation process in the region. And as far as the Kashmir issue is concerned, we believe that it is a bilateral issue which can be solved by holding talks between Pakistan and India.”

Terming the comparison between Kashmir issue and water dispute as illogical, he added, “It is baseless to compare both the issues as the territorial dispute in the South China Sea is rather a more complicated multilateral issue than the Kashmir dispute that cannot be resolved easily.”

There has been a trade relation of USD 27 billion between both the countries but the balance of trade tilts in favour of China as India imports more goods and services from China than exporting the same to this neighbouring country.

Clearing the air over the issue, sources from the Chinese Commerce Ministry said, “China has never desired of poor trade relations with India”.

When asked about why China is not pursuing an unbiased trade policy towards India, Liang Vento, Deputy Director General for Asian affairs, Ministry of Commerce, China denied to comment by saying, “India lacks patience when it comes to trade.”

JPN/Bureau