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China-India ties: India needs Beijing as 'crucial' partner, China asserts

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Beijing (Jan. 26, 2015): Showcasing the growing warmth in China-India ties, China on Monday said the visit by US President Barack Obama to India will have little impact on bilateral ties, asserting that New Delhi also needs Beijing as a "crucial" partner.

In its second commentary in as many days on Obama's visit, the official Xinhua news agency said that while the US president probably is one of the most high-profile guests ever attending the Republic Day parade, his presence "this time is not expected to significantly impact the longstanding China-India relations."

"For all that, the on-going Obama trip in India may succeed in propelling the US-India relationship forward, it could hardly change the ground reality that India also needs China as a crucial cooperation partner," it said in a strongly-worded commentary.

It said "many went as far as interpreting his presence there as a symbol of closer friendship between Washington and New Delhi, a few, with their minds locked on the much-hyped myth of 'unavoidable confrontation' between China and the United States, went further as to speculate the underlying impact of the Obama trip on China-India relations."

"They say the United States intends to turn itself into a vantage point for its dealings with China by wooing India. Just as it is up to Indians to decide if such an opinion sounds flattering or demeaning, it is mostly up to the two Asian neighbours to decide the fate of their bilateral relations," it said.

"China and India do have their differences, with the most outstanding ones in relation to their border disputes. However, aside from China's repeated declaration of its intention to settle border disputes with India peacefully at an early date, there are other cases in point that could serve as testament of growing rapport between Beijing and New Delhi, with the latest being joint new year celebrations by the two sides at a bordering area on January 1," the commentary said.

Last year also witnessed probably the most frequent exchange of high-level visits between the two neighbours in nearly 60 years, culminating in a state visit to India by Chinese President Xi Jinping in mid September, it said, pointing out that Premier Li Keqiang visited India first after he took over.

It argued that the world's two most populous nations and also two largest emerging economies, despite their differences, share mutual benefits in so many different ways, making them natural partners in many different areas.

China and India enjoy great economic potential for cooperation in investment, financial services and high technologies, it said.