Editor’s note: The following are remarks by State Councilor Yang Jiechi at the launch ceremony of the Year of China-India Friendly Exchanges held in New Delhi on Feb 11.
The Honorable Vice President Hamid Ansari,
Dear Friends, Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is my great pleasure to join all of you here for the launching of the Year of China-India Friendly Exchanges. First of all, I would like to extend, on behalf of the Chinese government, my warmest congratulations to the official launching of the Year of China-India Friendly Exchanges. I would also thank for the presence of Vice President Ansari at this function despite his busy schedule. All these show how much importance the Indian government attaches to China-India relations. Let me also take this opportunity to express my sincere appreciations to the friends from all walks of life who have worked for years to promote friendly relations between the two countries.
China-India friendship dates back to ancient times. Over the course of millennia, the two ancient civilizations have benefited each other and added to their respective luster, thus jointly creating a fascinating history of glory and proudness. Mr Ji Xianlin, a Sinology master of modern China, once described China and India as destined to be together. Indian poet Tagore also called China and India two time-honored and intimate brothers.
Some sixty years ago, China, India and Myanmar, observing the trend of the times, jointly put forward the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, which, to this day, remain the basic norms governing international relations. Since the beginning of the 21st century, China and India have both embarked on the modernization drive and become the world’s most dynamic emerging markets. Thanks to the joint efforts of leaders and people of all sectors in the two countries, China and India have established a strategic and cooperative partnership for peace and prosperity, broadened and deepened their exchanges and cooperation in all areas, and brought tangible benefits to their peoples.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The past year has been a year of harvest and expansion in China-India relations. President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had met on two occasions. The two countries for the first time since 1954 had the exchange of prime ministerial visits within the same year. In a display of great far-sightedness, leaders of the two countries reached important agreement on future growth of China-India relations, made strategic planning accordingly and set up a new framework of cooperation. The two sides decided to make 2014 the Year of China-India Friendly Exchanges and jointly commemorate the 60th anniversary of the issuance of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence. To this end, the two sides will hold a number of functions of celebration this year, covering the political, economic, trade, security, cultural and people-to-people exchanges. I am convinced that the serial celebrations this year will bring China-India relations to a still higher level.
We owe the strengthen of our relations to our shared commitment to the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence. Over the years, we have abided by mutual respect, deepened strategic trust and worked steadily to increase resilience of the bilateral relations. We have kept to mutual benefit, expanded exchanges and cooperation and worked concertedly to bring tangible benefits to our peoples. We have continued to take care of each other’s concerns, properly managed our differences and helped create an environment favorable for the overall development of bilateral relations. Given the new circumstances, China is ready to work together with India in carrying forward the spirit of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence and opening up a path of peaceful, cooperative and common development. The mechanism of Special Representatives’ Meeting for the Boundary Question, which the two countries set up, has yielded initial results, enabling the two sides to properly handle their boundary-related differences and maintain peace and tranquility in the border areas.
China and India are major developing countries and key emerging market economies. The Third Plenum of the 18th CPC Central Committee held last November came up with a new blueprint for China to comprehensively deepen its reform. India, on the other hand, is promoting reforms geared to inclusive economic growth. Just as President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh pointed out unanimously, the Chinese dream is closely linked with the Indian dream and they fit in to each other very nicely. As long as we work together for common development, we will surely make our respective dreams of national renewal a reality. That not only serves the common interests of the 2.5 billion people in China and India, but is beneficial for Asia and the world as a whole.
China will, as always, uphold the banner of peace, development, cooperation and mutual benefit and firmly pursue a foreign policy of building friendship and partnership with the neighboring countries. China is ready to work with India to steadily enhance strategic trust, expand friendly exchanges and cooperation across the board, properly handle the problems left over by history, step up coordination and cooperation on major regional and international affairs and move our strategic and cooperative partnership to a new high.
May China-India friendship be everlasting!
May the China-India Year of Friendly Exchanges be a complete success!