President Xi Jinping, members ofthe media,
I am delighted to welcome President Xi Jinping to India. I am especiallypleased to host him within months of the formation of my Government in Delhi.
I attach great importance and priority to our relations with China. We are twoancient civilizations with a long history of engagement. China is our largestneighour, and India's neighbourhood occupies a special place in my nationaldevelopment plans and foreign policy. Today, we are the world's two mostpopulous countries and its two largest emerging economies. We are bothundergoing economic transformation on an unprecedented scale and speed.
Therefore, a climate of mutual trust and confidence; respect for each other'ssensitivities and concerns; and, peace and stability in our relations and alongour borders are essential for us to realize the enormous potential in ourrelations.
If we achieve that, we can reinforce each other's economic growth. We cancontribute to peace, stability and prosperity in our region. And, we can givenew direction and energy to the global economy.
Over the two days in Ahmedabad and Delhi, we had opportunities to discuss thefull range of issues in our relationship, including political and securityissues, economic relations and people-to-people contacts. We have decided todeepen our engagement at all levels and hold regular summit level meetings.
We agreed that our economic relations do not do justice to our potential. Iexpressed concern at the slowdown in trade and the worsening trade imbalance. Isought his partnership in improving market access and investment opportunitiesfor Indian companies in China. President Xi assured me of his commitment totake concrete steps to address our concerns.
I have invited Chinese investments in India's infrastructure and manufacturingsectors and spoke about our new policies and administrative steps in this area.
I am pleased with the agreements on two Chinese industrial parks in India and acommitment to realize about 20 billion U.S. dollars of Chinese investments inthe next five years. This opens a new chapter in our economic relations. Wehave also agreed on specific steps to enhance cooperation in upgrading India'srailways sector. We will begin the process of discussions on civil nuclearenergy cooperation that will bolster our broader cooperation on energysecurity.
I welcome our five year economic and trade development plan as an important newstep to pursue higher ambitions in our economic relations.
Our agreements and announcements today demonstrate that people-to-peoplecontacts, culture, tourism and art are central to our efforts to strengthen ourpartnership.
On behalf of the people of India, I thank President Xi for opening a new routethrough Nathu La to Kailash Mansarovar. This will be in addition to theexisting route through Uttarakhand. The new route offers many benefits. Itmakes Kailash Mansarovar accessible by a motorable road, which is especiallybeneficial to the older pilgrims. It offers a safer alternative in the rainyseason, makes the pilgrimage shorter in duration, and will enable a much highernumber of pilgrims to go there.
As we discussed how to strengthen cooperation, we have also exchanged views onoutstanding differences in our relationship in a spirit of candour andfriendship.
I raised our serious concern over repeated incidents along the border. Weagreed that peace and tranquility in the border region constitutes an essentialfoundation for mutual trust and confidence and for realizing the full potentialof our relationship. This is an important understanding, which should bestrictly observed. While our border related agreements and confidence buildingmeasures have worked well, I also suggested that clarification of Line ofActual Control would greatly contribute to our efforts to maintain peace andtranquility and requested President Xi to resume the stalled process of clarifyingthe LAC. We should also seek an early settlement of the boundary question.
Similarly, we discussed India's concerns relating to China's visa policy andTrans Border Rivers. I am confident that their early resolution would takemutual trust to a new level.
We had a productive discussion on regional and international developments andagreed to strengthen our strategic dialogue on these issues. We both understandthat India and China have a shared interest in a peaceful and stable region,including peace, stability and prosperity Afghanistan. We will build closercooperation on the shared challenges of terrorism and extremism. We also agreedto cooperate on our many shared interests at the global level.
We discussed regional connectivity and the proposal for the Bangladesh, China,India and Myanmar Economic Corridor. Located at the crossroads of Asia, Indiabelieves that reconnecting Asia is important for its collective prosperity. Ialso believe that our efforts to rebuild physical connectivity in the regionwould also require a peaceful, stable and cooperative environment.
In conclusion, I would like to say that this is a historic opportunity for therelationship between India and China, filled with vast possibilities. We canstart a new era in our relations. If we are sensitive to our opportunities andchallenges, then I am confident that we will fulfill our responsibility to makeit a great success.
September 18, 2014