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Khurshid has urged media personnel from both sides to look at reporting which allows trans-national or national interests to “prevail over the desire to report aggressively” in the face of the historical border dispute that stems out of an undefined border.
Khurshid said both sides are keen on removing this “irritant” from Sino-Indian ties.
“It is a fact that we have an undefined boundary and therefore differences in perception… But in our hearts, we know that it is not an insurmountable problem but also that both of us are committed for eradication and removal of these irritants in our relationship,” Khurshid said during the launch.
Chinese news organisations have been critical of Indian media’s “sensational reporting” on the border issue which they have said is “harmful to the China-India relationship”.
China’s Xinhua agency in an editorial in July said: “Such reports have only served to further sow misunderstandings between Indians and Chinese even at a time when their leaders are working hard to manage their differences and to build a constructive relationship that can benefit both sides.”
China’s Minister of State Council Information office, Mingzhao pointed out that only a mere 20 journalists from India and China report from each others’ territories and this was not enough to reflect the developments between the two countries whose strategic partnership is growing.
“I hope that they could gradually station more reporters in each other’s country, or send more reporters to each others’ countries to conduct interviews, meet local residents, and gather real, fresh and first-hand information,” he said.
Mingzhao also called for holding such media forums every year in India and China
“For some reasons, Chinese and Indian media still do not have sufficient understanding of each other’s country, still cannot fully reflect the current status of the friendly bilateral relations, and still cannot meet the two peoples’ demand for information about the other country,” he said.
Indian External Affairs Minister Khurshid also noted that the 21st century is said to be the Asian century and “it is our firm belief that this dream will remain unfulfilled if India and China are unable to find congruence on important ways in which we think on global issues.”
He said the two countries have a had a “peaceful” co-existence for almost 4,000 years “but for a short interlude, that both of us feel must become quickly part of history as we look for significant cooperation between us in future.”
“Will we see ourselves as rivals and competitors or will we see ourselves in multi-dimensional roles with each other collaborating, cooperating, competing, assisting, sharing and more importantly, if I can add an important word, ‘caring’ for each other,” he said.
The Minister said language is “important to reach out to each other, clear cobwebs of the misunderstandings of the past, present and even of the future.”
“We hope this interaction (Media Forum) will help in constructive reporting and analysis methodology and understanding of each others’ working systems,” he said.
On social media, Khurshid said India hoped to learn from Chinese experiences with it.