Your Excellency Premier Li,
Ladies and Gentlemen of the Media
I am delighted to be in Beijing once again at the invitation of Premier Li. I am touched by the warm welcome and the generous hospitality of the Government and the people of China. I recalled to Premier Li how much India appreciated his decision to make India his first overseas destination after taking over as Premier. This year, I have had the privilege of meeting President Xi Jinping and Premier Li on a number of occasions on the margins of multilateral meetings, and I am delighted to have another opportunity of meeting them during this visit.
Premier Li and I have just concluded a very productive round of talks and reached a number of important understandings.
First and foremost, we agreed that the prosperity and progress of 2.5 billion Indian and Chinese people would be a major factor of Asian resurgence and global prosperity and stability. As leaders of large re-emerging nations, pursuing socio-economic progress in a rapidly changing and uncertain global environment, we have resolved to realize the full promise of our partnership and maintain the friendliest of relations. This will be our strategic vision.
Second, we agreed that peace and tranquillity on our borders must remain the foundation for growth in the India-China relationship, even as we move forward the negotiations towards a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable settlement to the India-China Boundary Question. This will be our strategic benchmark.
Third, we agreed that, as large neighbours following independent foreign policies, the relationships pursued by India and China with other countries must not become a source of concern for each other. This will be our strategic reassurance.
Accordingly, I suggested to Premier Li that we do things that enhance mutual trust, expand common interest and deepen mutual understanding. I received his full support for this roadmap.
To build mutual trust, we have agreed to enhance transparency and strengthen strategic communication at all levels, including, as I said, on our shared neighbourhood. I flagged our interest in continued and expanded cooperation on trans-border rivers and received reassurances from Premier Li. We decided to encourage and institutionalize greater exchanges between the armed forces of our two countries.
The Agreement on Border Defence Cooperation that we have just signed will add to the existing instruments to ensure peace, stability and predictability on our borders.
Premier Li was receptive to my concern about the unsustainable trade imbalance between our twoĺ countries and we have agreed to explore avenues to bridge this gap. We are taking forward the suggestion made by Premier Li in New Delhi for a Chinese industrial park to act as a magnet for Chinese investment in India. We are also exploring the feasibility of the BCIM Economic Corridor connecting our two countries via the southern Silk Road.
We are determined to inject new dynamism into our economic relations, by working with wider stakeholders. Even as Premier Li and I were holding our discussions, the India-China CEOs' Forum was meeting here under the same roof.
To foster mutual understanding, we decided to encourage provincial and sub-regional exchanges, institutionalize the High-Level Media Forum, continue youth exchanges for the next five years and celebrate the year 2014, which is the 60th anniversary of the enunciation of the Panchsheel principles, as the “Year of India-China Friendly Exchanges”. I appreciate China’s cooperation on Nalanda University.
I conveyed to Premier Li our commitment to visa simplification to facilitate travel of Chinese nationals to India and expressed hope that China will also facilitate such exchanges.
We also had candid and constructive discussions on regional and global issues of importance to India and China. This is one of the promising developments in our relationship.
The Agreements and MOUs signed today in various areas --- covering defence cooperation, road transport sector, trans-border rivers, power equipment, cultural exchanges, Nalanda University and sister-city linkages --- will build on our impressive range of cooperation.
As Premier Li has said, India and China are two ancient civilisations. We account for 2.5billion people. When India and China shake hands, the world takes notice. I believe that my visit to China has put our relations on a path of stable and fast growth. I thank Premier Li once again and look forward to my other engagements with the Chinese leadership and the public today and tomorrow. It has been a most enjoyable stay in this beautiful city and I thank Premier Li and the people of China for their hospitality.
I thank you.