Address by Chinese Ambassador to India Hua Junduo at the Function Sponsored by India-China Society in celebration of the 55th Anniversary of the Founding of the People's Republic of China
(By Chinese Embassy in India)

Shri Jai Prakash Aggarwal, President of India-China Society,
Mr. Salman Khursheed, General Secretary of AICC,
Mr. Vijender Jain, Justice, Delhi High Court,
Mr. Mangat Ram, Hon'ble Minister for Industry, Government of Delhi,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is my great pleasure to attend today's function in celebration of the 55th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. Please allow me to express heartfelt thanks to India-China Society for sponsoring this function. We would also like to pay respect to all our friends for their presence here.

Like India, China has scored great achievements in the social and economic fields over the past 55 years. We have particularly sustained rapid economic growth since the reform and opening-up 20-odd years ago, and the GDP has grown from US$ 147.3 billion in 1978 to US $ 1.4 trillion in 2003 with an annual growth rate of 9.4%. China's GDP grew by 9.1% in 2003. In general, the Chinese people began to lead a relatively comfortable life.
China's development, relying on the stability and development of its neighboring region, will bring not only well-being to the Chinese people, but also more opportunities to the world and especially our neighboring countries. We will, as always, pursue the independent foreign policy of peace, strengthen the friendship and expand cooperation with India and other surrounding nations in the spirit of "building good-neighborly relationships and partnerships with the neighboring countries".

Both India and China are great nations. We are both major developing countries and important neighbor to each other. We have extensive common interests in many international issues.

The Chinese government has constantly attached great importance to developing long-term constructive and cooperative partnership with India on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence. Thanks to our joint efforts, the Sino-Indian relations have embarked on a new stage of comprehensive development. Over past one year, our bilateral relations have continued to enjoy a good momentum of development.

Regular high-level interactions were maintained and the mutual understanding and friendship deepened.

Economic cooperation and trade kept growing rapidly. Last year, our bilateral trade volume amounted to US$ 7.6 billion. From January to July this year, Sino-India trade volume reached US$ 7.7 billion, an 88% growth against the corresponding period last year and exceeding the total trade volume of last year. With this speed, this year's total trade volume is expected to cross US$ 10 billion threshold. Meanwhile, the contracted project cooperation is also making significant progress.

The process of solving issues left over by history proceeded steadily. Our two countries were committed to addressing differences through peaceful means in a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable manner. The Special Representatives on the Boundary Question of our two countries have held three rounds of meetings, and had constructive discussions on boundary questions in a friendly, constructive and cooperative atmosphere.

We have every reason to believe that our good-neighborly and friendly relations have a bright future. I would like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude to all our friends, including those of India-China Society, for their consistent efforts in strengthening the traditional friendship between our two peoples. We would like to work with you further to bring our two countries even closer.

Thank you.

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