Ambassador’s remarks at the reception hosted to commemorate
India-China Year of Exchange
Jan 11, 2012
Your Excellency, State Councillor Dai Bingguo, Assistant Minister Liu Zhenmin,Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is a great pleasure to welcome you all to the concluding function of the India-China Year of Exchange. This is also the first major event that we are doing at the new Chancery. Your presence today, Excellency, is therefore doubly significant for our ties.
2. The Year of Exchange has taken India-China relations forward on many fronts. It saw a meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Hu Jintao at Sanya during the BRICS Summit in April 2011. The BRICS process itself contributed in many ways to the growth of our bilateral cooperation. We inaugurated the Strategic Economic Dialogue, led by the Indian Planning Commission and China’s NDRC. Our defence exchanges were further consolidated, and indeed, we have a tri-services delegation in China at this moment. Three Indian Chief Ministers visited China while a Party Secretary and Governor from China visited India.
3. Our trade levels reached their highest ever, touching the US$ 70 billion level. Mutual investments also increased. China opened its first bank branch in India while Indian IT companies achieved initial success in obtaining Chinese government contracts. At the people-to-people level, the visit of a 500 strong Indian youth delegation and their meeting with Premier Wen Jiabao was a high point. Two important initiatives were begun: teaching Chinese language in Indian schools and producing a joint cultural encyclopaedia. Important cultural conferences, including onTagore and the Nalanda University, took place. Academic, think-tank and media exchanges have visibly expanded.
4. These activities reflect the strategic direction of our ties, of what is possible between two neighbors. Certainly, we have our share of challenges. A settlement of the boundary question still awaits us. A fairer and balanced economic relationship is also necessary. We must remain continuously sensitive to mutual concerns. But, building upon commonalities while managing differences, is the way forward. We need a good understanding, not only between us, but of each other. As developing economies, our convergences on major global issues are increasingly manifest. Today, the larger region and indeed the worldhave high expectations of our growing cooperation. The development of India and of China cantruly be reinforcing processes. We look forward to working with the Chinese side towards achieving our common goals.
5. It is a particular privilege that we have the opportunity this evening of hearing the views of H.E. State Councillor DaiBingguo on India-China relations. May I request him to deliver his keynote address?