The Youth: New Force of China-India Friendship Remarks by Ambassador Sun Weidong at Second China-India Youth Dialogue

Ambassador Shashank, former foreign secretary,

Mr. Sameep Shastri, President of CYL,

Mr. Himadrish Suwan, Chairman of CYL,

Young Friends from China and India,

Ladies and gentlemen,

    Welcome to the Chinese Embassy. This is the first event celebrating the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and India this year, and it’s also the second time that the Embassy and CYL co-host the China-India Youth Dialogue. Every time I see so many young faces full of vitality, I feel extremely happy and from you I can see the future and hope of China-India relations.

    Each generation of youth has their own historical missions. What is this era are we living in? The other day, an India newspaper published an article characterizing the current era as rise of the east and decline of the west. It used such phrases as the Western Sunset and Eastern Sunrise to highlight the shifting landscape of today's world.

    Indeed, it is an era undergoing great development, profound transformation and major adjustments. The trend toward multi-polarity and economic globalization is deepening, countries are increasingly interconnected and frontier technologies such as 5G, artificial intelligence, big data and block chains are advancing day by day. All these developments are bound to have a more profound impact on human society.

    In the meantime, challenges and risks are on the rise. Unilateralism, hegemonism and power politics are haunting the world. There are more frequent use or threats of force. Protectionism and imbalanced development have become more pronounced, and non-traditional security threats such as climate change continue to spread. Some countries have "built walls", "made withdrawals " and "breached contracts", which paralysed the World Trade Organization and deepened rifts in the international community.

    The earth is the only home for mankind and countries share the same future. We call for cooperation instead of confrontation, resolve differences through dialogue, and build a more just and equitable international order. As oriental civilizations, both China and India are developing countries each with more than one billion population. We should act as the driving force for multi-polarity and economic globalization. We need to jointly safeguard free trade and multilateralism, seize the opportunities in the new round of scientific and technological revolution, advocate exchanges between different civilizations, establish a community with a shared future for mankind, and join hands to build a better world for peace, development and prosperity.

    My young fellows,

    As hopes for the future, you have on your shoulders the responsibilities entrusted by the times. When youth is prosperous, a country will be prosperous; when youth is strong, a country will be strong. The Chinese young generation is enthusiastically engaged in the cause of national rejuvenation. In 2019, China's GDP is expected to edge close to 100 trillion RMB yuan with the per capita figure nearing 10,000 U.S. dollars. This year, China will eliminate absolute poverty and complete the building a moderately prosperous society in all respects. India has over 800 million young people, who are also striving to realize the vision of "New India".

    This year marks the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and India. Guided by the important consensus reached by our two leaders, China-India relations have achieved stable and sound development and tapped deeper into the potentials for bilateral cooperation. This provides a broad platform for youth exchanges. President Xi Jinping once said, "young people should become the new force promoting friendship between our two peoples." Prime minister Modi also wished the youth of India and China to build a "Great Wall of trust and cooperation". Last year, the Chinese Embassy and CYL co-hosted youth exchange and homestay program. A delegation of 200 Chinese youth visited Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata to contribute to the friendship between our two countries.

    The future of China and India lies in your hands. Through this dialogue, I believe you will further enhance mutual understanding, get better ideas and contribute more wisdom and strength to the development of China-India relations. I would like to offer the following suggestions.

    First, actively make proposals and suggestions. What will be the scenario of the world in the next 30-50 years? What are the positions of China and India in the world? How can the two countries strengthen cooperation? As two ancient civilizations, how can China and India inherit and carry forward our cultures? What can the young generation do to promote people-to-people exchanges? I hope you will put your heads together and make suggestions to help China and India explore a new path for two major emerging neighbors to get along with each other.

    Second, strengthen cultural and people-to-people exchanges. Apart from the 70 activities to commemorate the 70th anniversary of diplomatic ties, 2020 is also the Year of Cultural and People-to-People Exchanges between China and India. I hope the young friends will not only actively participate in the celebrations, but also make more mutual visits to each others’ countries so as to deepen mutual understanding, enhance friendship and mutual trust.

    Third, enrich our cooperation. The Chinese Embassy will continue to cooperate with CYL to institutionalize the China-India Youth Dialogue and the China-India youth exchange program. This year, the Embassy will invite two batches of Indian youth delegations to visit China, and continue the homestay programs.

    Fourth, encourage engagements and exchanges among young people. Chinese high-tech companies have advantages in 5G, big data and artificial intelligence, and a number of Chinese companies are investing in India. Indian companies have also set up three IT corridors in China. We encourage young talents from India to visit China and also work in Chinese companies in India.

    Fifth, enhance education cooperation. At present, less than 30,000 young people from China and India are studying in each others’ country, which is far from enough compared with the size of our population. We encourage more students to study in each others country and hope that more Indian universities and educational institutions will offer Chinese language courses.

    Last but not the least, I wish you enjoy pleasant and productive time at the embassy and this youth dialogue a full success. Thank you.

Suggest to a Friend