I am glad to once again come to the beautiful city of New Delhi to co-host the 17th special representatives’ meeting for the boundary question and inaugurate the “year of China-India friendly exchanges” in commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the announcement of the five principles of peaceful coexistence.
Sixty years ago, the Chinese and Indian leaders, embracing the trend of the times, jointly championed the five principles of peaceful coexistence, thus opening a new chapter in international relations. Since then, these principles have served as the basic norms governing international relations and contributed greatly to world peace and stability, and human progress. While much has changed in the world, these principles have remained as relevant as ever.
Seizing the historic opportunity presented by accelerating economic globalisation, China and India have achieved sustained economic growth and become the most dynamic emerging markets and new powerhouses of the Asian economy. We have not only made life better for our two peoples, but are making new contribution to global peace and development. The ancient Chinese and Indian civilisations are full of new vigour.
Early in the new century, China and India established a strategic and cooperative partnership for peace and prosperity and have gained much new ground in promoting friendly exchanges and mutually beneficial cooperation. The two-way trade, which was just $2.9 billion in 2000, surged to $65.4 billion in 2013, increasing over 20 times. Our two countries have established the strategic economic dialogue and other cooperation mechanisms, and we have put forward important cooperation initiatives such as the building of the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar economic corridor. People-to-people and cultural exchanges are expanding and the friendship between our peoples is flourishing. China and India have worked together to tackle climate change, food security, energy security and other global challenges, and have maintained close cooperation at Brics and G20 forums and on other multilateral occasions. The launching of the “year of China-India friendly exchanges” in 2014 will surely take our relations to a new height.
The significant growth of China-India relations is the result of our shared pursuit of the five principles of peaceful coexistence. We have always respected each other and worked to increase strategic mutual trust. As a result, our bilateral relations have become more mature. We have worked for mutual benefit and greater exchanges and cooperation, benefiting the 2.5 billion people of our two countries. We have developed a new model of relations that enables us to advance bilateral ties by accommodating each other’s concerns and properly handling differences. More importantly, following the trend of history and the changing world, we have always approached our relations as ones of global and strategic importance. We both share the belief that the world is big enough for China and India to grow together and that the world needs the development of both China and India.
China and India are partners of cooperation. The growth of the China-India strategic and cooperative partnership not only serves the fundamental interests of our two countries and peoples, but will also boost peace and prosperity of the world.
In his meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh last October, Chinese President Xi Jinping said that Chinese and Indian dreams are interconnected and mutually compatible. Both Chinese and Indian dreams are about enhancing national strength, achieving national prosperity and pursuing national renewal, and they represent the shared aspiration of the 2.5 billion people of our two countries and that of the developing world. China and India are both major ancient civilisations and the two largest developing countries and emerging markets in the world. As such, every step forward in both our respective development and our bilateral relations will bring greater benefits and hope for the people of both countries, contribute more to world peace and security, create more opportunity for cooperation and promote the progress of human civilisation.
The Third Plenum of the 18th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China held last November made an important decision on comprehensively deepening reform in China. India is also committed to advancing reform and achieving inclusive growth. There is therefore enormous potential for growing bilateral ties and tremendous room for boosting cooperation. Looking ahead, the Chinese and Indian dreams are well within our reach. When China and India join hands and pursue peaceful, cooperative and common development, we can certainly realise our respective dreams of national renewal. This will also be a true blessing to both Asia and the world.
The writer is state councilor of the People’s Republic of China