Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday said the long-standing border dispute with China was not an easy issue and will take time to resolve.
The prime minister's remarks came as he embarked Tuesday for China on the second leg of his tour after holding summit level talks in Moscow with Russian President Vladimir Putin, reported Xinhua.
Manmohan Singh said he hopes to utilise his visit to China to work with the new Chinese leadership to consolidate the allround progress in bilateral relations and put them on a firm trajectory of sustained growth.
In a written interview with Chinese media based in India, Singh said during the past nine years that he has been the prime minister, he has attempted to put India-China relations on a stable growth path.
"Working together with the Chinese leadership, my attempt has been to create a forward looking agenda for our bilateral relations. There has been tremendous increase in our economic exchanges as both India and China themselves have grown and prospered," Singh said.
"We have also managed our differences and have kept our border region tranquil. At the same time, we have not allowed our differences to come in the way of expanding our cooperation in diverse areas."
"Stability and predictability in our relations has proved invaluable as both India and China address their internal priorities, particularly growth and development of 2.5 billion people," he added.
Singh noted that his last visit to China five years ago came before the onset of the financial crisis and the global economic meltdown. Today, despite the fragile global economic situation, India and China continue to grow.
"I have already had useful meetings with President Xi and Premier Li earlier this year," he said.
On the prospects of Border Defence Cooperation between China and India and the border talks between special representatives of the two countries, the prime minister said the border issue between India and China is complex and sensitive and the two countries have established the special representatives mechanism to find a political solution to the issue.
"The special representatives have worked hard and arrived at the political parameters and guiding principles for a boundary resolution. In the present stage of their negotiations, they are seeking a framework for a boundary resolution. I support the work done by the special representatives of the two sides. This is not an easy issue and will take time to resolve," he said.
He said both the governments of India and China are committed to maintaining peace and tranquility in the India-China border areas and this is an important guarantor and a fundamental basis for further progress and growth in bilateral ties.
"The leadership of the two countries is united on this issue. As long as we follow the principles and procedures set out in the Agreements of 1993, 1996 and 2005, expand and improve upon them where necessary to take into account the changing reality of India and China and enhance dialogue and friendly exchanges between our border troops."
"I am confident that the strategic consensus between leaders will continue to be reflected on the ground," the prime minister said.