Special Representative of China on the Boundary Issue between China and India and Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of China Dai Bingguo Interviewed on China-India Relations

On July 30, 2004, at the conclusion of the third meeting of Special Representatives of China and India on the boundary issue and prior to departure for China, Special Representative of China on the Boundary Issue between China and India and Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of China Dai Bingguo was interviewed on China-India relations by journalists stationed to India from Xinhua News Agency, People's Daily, Chinese Central Television, Wenhui Daily and China Radio International.

Q: During your stay in New Delhi for the meeting of Special Representatives of China and India on the boundary issue, you had meetings with the new Prime Minister of India Manmohan Singh and the new Foreign Minister Natwar Singh. What impression have the meetings left you with?

A: I am very glad indeed to have had the opportunity to meet with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Foreign Minister Natwar Singh during my stay here for the third meeting of Special Representatives of China and India on the boundary issue. During the meetings, we exchanged views in depth on the bilateral relations between the two countries as well as issues of common concern. The talks with them gave me the following feelings. First, the leadership of the new Indian administration attaches importance to and is committed to developing domestic economy, continuing with the reforms and striving to bring the benefits of economic reforms and development achievements to its people in a larger scope. Second, the Indian leadership hopes for a peaceful and stable neighboring environment for the development of India. Third, the new Indian administration pays attention to further improving and developing China-India relations. We wish India new and greater achievements in economic and social development and hope to see India become prosperous. We appreciate and support any active effort conducive to the d├ętente and stabilization of the situations in South Asia and to the promotion of regional cooperation. It is our sincere hope that China-India relations can be improved to a higher level constantly.

Q: Since the end of the past century, you have been to India many times. What do you think of the status quo of China-India relations?

A: In recent years, with the joint efforts of the two sides, relations between the two countries have been improved and developed rapidly, showing good momentum. Exchanges between top-level officials of the two countries have never stopped, exchanges in various fields are increasingly frequent, and cooperation is expanding and becoming closer. In particular, economic and trade cooperation has witnessed sustained and rapid development. The bilateral trade volume in early 1990s stood at merely US$200 million whereas the figure last year was US$7.6 billion. The first five months alone of this year scored US$5.4 billion, a year-on-year increase of 88%. The bilateral trade volume is expected to exceed US$10 billion by the end of this year. In addition, the two countries have maintained good coordination and cooperation in international as well as regional affairs. I believe that people of both countries are happy with that.

Q: What is your estimate for the future of China-India relations?

A: Upon its taking office since the past May, the new Indian administration has expressed the hope to maintain and develop China-India relations actively on many occasions, stressing that the new administration is willing to make even more active efforts to deepen and expand the long-term constructive cooperative partnership between China and India, which is appreciated by us. The Chinese government firmly pursues the principle of good-neighborliness and friendship towards India. Persisting in building good-neighborly relationships and partnership with the neighboring countries, it dedicates itself to developing long-term, stable, extensive and intensive relationships with India featured by friendship and mutually beneficial cooperation. Both countries are ancient civilizations and large developing countries with a large population, and the two countries share mountains and waters at the border. Therefore, there are huge potentials and broad prospects for cooperation between the two countries in various fields.

The two countries' living in long-term amity and mutually beneficial cooperation conform to the fundamental interests of the two peoples and are conducive to peace and development of the region and even the world at large. We believe that so long as the two sides are forward-looking, proceed from the overall situation of relations between the two countries and from the fundamental and long-term interests of the two peoples, seize historic opportunities, jointly make unremitting efforts, and properly address issues left over from history, the friendly and cooperative relations between China and India will definitely have a better future. The common prosperity and development and enhanced cooperation of China and India as two large neighbors will surely bring great benefits to the two countries and peoples and make due contributions to the lofty cause of peace, development, civilization and progress of mankind.

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