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Untitled Document

H.E. Ambassador Zhang Yan's Message on China-India Relations: A Relationship Dedicated to Cooperation and Development

Published in The Hindu, Special Report, December 15, 2010

H.E. Mr. Wen Jiabao, Premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China arrives in New Delhi today to start off his official visit to India at the invitation of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. It is his second visit to India after five years and has been taken as an important diplomatic activity with neighboring countries by Chinese leaders at the turn of the second decade of the 21st Century, which is of far-reaching significance to the enhancement of the Strategic Cooperative Partnership and good-neighborly friendship between China and India. During his visit, Premier Wen Jiabao will hold talks with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, and meet Indian President Pratibha Patil and other leaders. He will also interact with representatives from Indian business community and cultural circles as well as teachers and students. Besides, the two countries will sign a series of agreements on cooperation in the fields of politics, economy, trade, finance, culture and so on. This visit coincides with the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the diplomatic relations between China and India. Premier Wen Jiabao and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will jointly attend the celebration.

In recent years, China-India relations have overcome all kinds of ups and downs and maintained relatively rapid development. China and India established Strategic Cooperative Partnership for Peace and Prosperity in 2005, formulated a "Ten-pronged Strategy" to deepen bilateral relations in 2006. In 2008, the two countries signed "A Shared Vision for 21st Century". As two large developing countries in Asia, both China and India view their relations in a long-term and strategic perspective, which gives strong impetus to the development of bilateral relations. Our relations have maintained momentum of development in all fields with frequent high-level interactions, deepening mutual political trust, growing economic and trade cooperation, increasing interactions in defense, flourishing cultural and scientific cooperation and expanding people-to-people exchanges. In regional and international affairs, China and India have been playing vital roles in global issues such as financial crisis, climate change, food and energy security, counterterrorism, advancing the reforms of international economic system and promoting the multi-polarity and democratization of international relations. The equal and mutually-beneficial cooperation in various fields between China and India have brought tangible benefits to the peoples of two countries and contributed to the peace and development of the world as well.

This year marks the 60th anniversary of China-India diplomatic ties with new progress in exchanges and cooperation in all fields of bilateral relations. Chinese President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao held meetings with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the sideline of G20, BRIC and East Asian Summit, and other international occasions and exchanged views on bilateral relations and international and regional issues. Member of the Standing Committee of the Politburo of CPC Central Committee Mr. Zhou Yongkang and Vice Premier of the State Council of China Mr. Hui Liangyu paid successful visits to India. Indian President Pratibha Patil, External Affairs Minister S. M. Krishna and Prime Minister's Special Envoy Shivshankar Menon visited China respectively. Two countries have just held the 14th round talk of the Special Representatives on Boundary Question as well as Strategic Dialogue. In a nutshell, China-India relations are making steady progress and continuously enriching the substance of cooperation.

Economic and trade cooperation has been a highlight of China-India relations. The two economies overcame the impact of the international financial crisis, achieved rapid recovery and regained the momentum of growth. From January to November 2010, the bilateral trade has crossed 55.2 billion US dollars, increasing over 44% compared to the same period of last year. It is believed that the 60-billion-US dollar target for bilateral trade of this year would be reached. At the same time, two-way investment is developing steadily, with both China's investment in India and India's investment in China surpassed 400 million US dollars. Presently over 100 Indian companies are operating in the fields of IT, software outsourcing and banking in China. More than 60 Chinese companies are engaged in R&D, telecommunication, electric project contracting and so on in India. China and India, as two emerging economies, have deepened economic and trade cooperation, complemented each other and created a mutually-beneficial win-win situation. It has not only brought tangible benefits to peoples of the two countries but also made significant contribution for the recovery of world economy. During Chinese Premier's visit, two countries will set new target for the bilateral economic, trade and investment cooperation in the coming five years, and push forward the mutually-beneficial cooperation between two countries to a new height.

Cultural and people-to-people exchanges are bridges of China-India friendship and mutual trust. In order to promote the mutual understanding between the two peoples, two countries held "China Festival" and "India Festival" in each other's country this year and conducted many cultural and people-to-people exchanges in various forms. The academia of the two countries held a series of seminars and contributed their wisdoms and thoughts for the future development of bilateral relations. Both sides dispatched high-level performing troupes to visit each other. Chinese performances like Harmony in the Divine Land and My Dream created a sensation and echo among the Indian audiences. Meanwhile, Bollywood dances, Yoga and traditional art performances from India deeply attracted the Chinese audiences. Besides, both sides held exhibitions of culture, art, antique, cuisine, tourism etc. The volume of people traveling between the two countries has reached over 500,000 this year. China and India also successfully exchanged the annual visit of 100-member youth delegation. These activities went through the whole year and produced positive results, which greatly promoted the mutual understanding and friendship between the two peoples and laid a solid foundation for the friendship and cooperation between China and India.

The Chinese side attaches great importance to the visit of Premier Wen Jiabao to India. I am sure that the visit will definitely promote mutual trust, expand economic and trade cooperation, boost people-to-people exchanges and open a new chapter for the China-India relations of mutual benefit and win-win situation.