Ambassador Hua Junduo's Message of Marking the 55th Anniversary of the Founding of the PRC on the Special Supplement of the Hindustan Times
(By Chinese Embassy in India)

October 1 this year marks the 55th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. Over the past 55 years, China has scored great social and economic achievements. 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%. The Chinese people have in general begun to lead a relatively comfortable life. China's development brings not only well-being to the Chinese people, but also more opportunities to the world and especially our neighboring countries.

Both China and India are biggest nations with an ancient civilization. We have enjoyed a long history of friendship. As each other's important neighbor and major members of the developing world, we are both faced with the historic mission of developing the economy and improving the people's living standards, and have extensive common interests on many international issues. Cultivating friendly and good-neighbor relations between the two countries and seeking a win-win cooperation on the solid basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence serve the fundamental interests of our two peoples and contribute to peace and development in the region and the world at large.

Thanks to our joint efforts, the Sino-Indian relations have embarked on a new stage of comprehensive development. High-level interactions have been maintained, exchanges in various fields become increasingly frequent, and cooperation is further expanding. In particular, economic and trade cooperation has witnessed rapid development. The bilateral trade volume in early 1990s stood at merely US$200 million whereas the figure last year amounted to US$7.6 billion. From January to July this year, the trade volume reached US$7.7 billion, an 88% growth against the corresponding period last year. With this speed, this year's total trade volume is expected to cross US$10 billion threshold. In addition, the two countries have maintained good coordination and cooperation in international as well as regional affairs.

Meanwhile, the process of resolving the issues left over by history has proceeded steadily. Our two countries are committed to addressing differences through peaceful means in a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable manner. The appointment of Special Representatives on the Boundary Question is an important political decision made by the two Government. The Special Representatives have met thrice and had constructive discussions in a friendly, constructive and cooperative atmosphere.

In pursuing the policy of building good-neighborly relationships and partnerships with the neighboring countries, the Chinese Government attaches great importance to developing amicable relations and cooperation with India. We are ready to join the Indian side in sustaining and enhancing the good momentum in our relationship. We believe that the traditional relations between China and India have a good future.

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