Beijing: India and China have been friends for 99.9 per cent of the time in over 2,000 years of exchanges between them, Beijing’s chief negotiator in boundary talks Dai Bingguo says, underlining that the two sides should “cast off” the shadow of the 1962 war and build a bright future together.

“In over 2,000 years of exchanges between China and India, we have been friends for 99.9 per cent of the time, while unpleasant experience took up only 0.1 per cent,” 71-year-old Dai, who has had the longest engagement with India during the 15 rounds of border talks, said in an interview to PTI, his first ever to the Indian media.

As China’s point man for India, Dai, who is set to retire in March next year, negotiated with four top Indian officials — Brajesh Mishra, J N Dixit, M K Narayanan and present National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon — on the border issue and normalisation of relations.

“More and more people of vision in India believe that our two countries should cast off the shadow of history in a forward-looking spirit, and the past should guide rather than hinder our endeavour to build a bright future together. I fully agree with this view,” he said.

“Nothing is impossible to a willing mind. As long as we are devoted to staying friends forever, never treat each other as enemy, pursue long-term peace and friendly co-existence and vigorously promote win-win cooperation, we will be capable of creating miracles to the benefit of our peoples and the entire mankind,” he said.

China, Dai said, is fully committed to pursuing peaceful development and developing friendly and cooperative relations with India.

In the wide-ranging interview, which follows the last round of talks he had with Menon here on December 3 to finalise a common understanding of the progress made in the border talks since 2005, Dai gave carefully weighed written answers, covering progress made in the boundary negotiations, China’s all-weather ties with Pakistan and his assessment of India’s foreign policy.

“He (Modi) now seeks to come to the United States. This would not be the proper thing to do,” said Congressman Keith Ellison.

“We have to stand for the accountability, when it comes to the violation of human rights. And in this case, we have to stand up and deny Mr Modi a visa (to the US),” he said.

Franks urged his Congressional colleagues to “tell this administration that Mr Modi, who failed his responsibility and test of leadership in India, should not be afforded an opportunity to gain a higher station of leadership” in that country, until this issue is dealt with.

“I would encourage the administration to have the courage what the previous administration has done,” he said.

Echoing his colleagues, Congressman Wolf from Virginia urged the Obama administration publicly, “never to grant a visa”, to Modi to visit the US under “any” circumstances.

The US lawmakers went public with their appeal to the Obama Administration against Modi, days after they wrote a letter to Clinton in this regard.

“As Mr Modi continues to pursue a potential run for higher office, we believe a change in policy to his request for a visa will only embolden Modi and his government’s efforts to obstruct further investigations … to bring the perpetrators to justice,” said the letter to Clinton signed by a group of 25 bipartisan lawmakers from the US House of Representatives.

The letter came ahead of the Gujarat polls on December 13 and 17.

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