Working Together to Expand Cooperation And Create a Bright Future

Keynote Address at Vigyan Bhavan

Hu Jintao

President of the People's Republic of China

New Delhi, 22 November 2006

Your Excellency Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, Vice-President of India,

Ex officio Chairman of Rajya Sabha and President of the Indian

Council of World Affairs,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Dear Friends,

It gives me great pleasure to meet you today, public leaders and representatives of India, during my state visit to India and address you on promoting China-India relations. To begin with, I wish to convey the warm greetings and best wishes of the Chinese people to you and, through you, to the great Indian people.

India is a great country, and the Indian people are a great people. I visited India in 1984 and was deeply impressed by its splendid culture and hospitable people. Twenty-two years later, back to this beautiful country, I greatly admire the tremendous progress India has made. Today, India enjoys political stability, strong economic growth, increasing international influence and a broad prospect for development. The industrious and talented Indian people are endeavoring to build India into a country of dynamic development and prosperity. I heartily rejoice at the achievements India has made in its economic and social development.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Dear Friends,

Both China and India have ancient civilizations and a long history. Our two peoples have created splendid cultures and made indelible contribution to human progress. In the past several millennia, our two great civilizations have drawn upon each other's strength and left a glorious chapter in the annals of global civilization. Our two peoples started cultural exchanges and trade centuries ago. Eminent Chinese monks Fahien and Huen Tsang went to India on pilgrimages, and Kumarajiva and Bodhidharma brought Buddhist classics from India to China. They were great pioneers in the long history of exchanges between our two peoples.

In modern times, our two peoples enjoyed mutual sympathy and support in the struggle for independence and liberation. Today, both China and India are on the fast track of economic and social development, demonstrating to the world the bright future of the two countries and the promise of a revitalized Asia. China and India have carried out productive cooperation in many fields and our relations have maintained good momentum of all-round development. Last year, China and India established the strategic and cooperative partnership for peace and prosperity, which ushered in a new stage of growth in China-India relations. This year, we are jointly celebrating "the Year of China-India Friendship", which will bring our friendship to a new high.

In the past, our two peoples went through similar experiences in almost all historical periods. Today, in a world moving towards multi-polarity and with growing economic globalization, both China and India face rare development opportunities. The destinies of our countries and peoples are once again closely bonded together.

The combined population of China and India is 2.4 billion, accounting for two fifths of the world's total. The course we chart and the pace of our development have major implications for peace and development of Asia and beyond. As important neighbors of each other, China and India both face the task of accelerating economic development and improving people's life and both need an overall peaceful and stable international environment and good-neighborly environment. As major countries in Asia, we shoulder important responsibilities in promoting peace, stability, growth and rejuvenation of this great continent. As major developing countries, we share broad common interests in advancing multi-polarity in the world and democracy in international relations and on other major international issues. To enhance China-India friendship and cooperation will speed up our respective economic and social development, serves the fundamental interests of our two countries and two peoples and is in keeping with the trend of peace and development in Asia and the world. Working hand in hand, China and India will make greater progress in development. This will deliver enormous benefit to the 2.4 billion Chinese and Indian peoples and the people of Asia and the world.

China-India friendship benefits not only both countries, but also Asia and the world. China-India relations have gone beyond the bilateral context and acquired global dimension. In enhancing China-India relationship, we need to both boost bilateral cooperation and be global and future-oriented in outlook. As leaders of China and India, we should act with vision, view China-India relations in a long-term and strategic perspective, seize the opportunity to enhance the good-neighborly friendship and all-round cooperation and forge closer strategic partnership.

Working together to create a bright future is our historic mission. It is the calling of the times. To enter into strategic partnership with India is not an expedient. Rather, it is a strategic decision and firm goal of the Chinese Government. The late Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping said: China and India have a common responsibility for mankind. They need to develop themselves by making good use of an enabling and peaceful international environment. When China and India achieve development, the world will see a true Asian century. China remains in the view that India's development will help boost the overall strength and international standing of Asia, increase the strength of developing countries and promote peace and development in Asia and the world. India's development will also create valuable opportunities for deepening the friendship and win-win cooperation between itself and China.

The development endeavors of China and India are mutually reinforcing. They are not mutually exclusive. China sincerely welcomes India's development, supports a greater role of India in international affairs and sincerely wishes India even greater achievements in the years to come. There are a solid foundation and broad prospect for the growth of friendship between the Chinese and Indian peoples and China-India relations, and I have every confidence in the future of China-India relations.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Dear Friends,

I am visiting India to deepen friendship, enhance mutual trust, expand cooperation and chart the future course of China's relations with India. I have had fruitful talks with the Indian leaders and reached important agreement with them on the future growth of China-India strategic and cooperative partnership. We both agree that we need to send to the world an important political message. That is, China and India are true friends and partners. China and India are committed to pursuing long-term friendship and working closely for common development.

China is ready to work with India to ensure that China-India strategic and cooperative partnership grows in both depth and width. To this end, I wish to propose the following:

First, increase mutual political trust and consolidate the basis of China-India relations. We should be visionary and farsighted, follow the trend of history and view our relations in a strategic perspective. We should continue regular leadership meetings and expand high-level exchanges between the governments, legislatures and political parties to enhance mutual understanding. We should also make full use of the bilateral consultation mechanisms to maintain regular dialogue and enhance communication on issues of respective concern.

Second, enhance business cooperation and enrich bilateral relations. China and India are similar in national conditions and level of development. Our economies are complementary and our cooperation enjoys broad prospect. By carrying out cooperation, we can form synergy, improve each other's international competitiveness and promote our common progress. More importantly, it will speed up the overall growth of the developing world and economic integration in Asia. China-India business ties have seen strong growth in the past few years and become a new focal point of bilateral relations. Between 1995 and 2005, the two-way trade volume registered an averaged annual growth rate of 32%. China has become India's second biggest trading partner and India is China's largest trading partner in South Asia. Given the size and potential of our respective economy, there is enormous potential to be tapped. We should work vigorously to increase the varieties of goods traded and add more value to them. Our goal is for the two-way trade to reach US$ 40 billion in 2010. We need to encourage and support cooperation between the business communities of the two countries in information technology, energy, resources, infrastructure, science, technology and agriculture, so that we can draw upon each other's strength and develop new areas of growth in cooperation. We need to properly address issues that may arise in business interaction, take steps to remove barriers to trade and investment and foster an enabling environment for building strong business ties.

Third, increase cultural and social exchanges and public support for China-India friendship. Cultural and social exchanges promote mutual understanding and progress in human civilization. In the past few years, a variety of art exhibitions and cultural festivals have been held in both countries. Tourist flow and the number of exchange students have increased rapidly. This is a strong indication of our shared desire to enhance mutual understanding and interaction. We should continue to carry out cultural exchanges of various forms to deepen understanding of each other's cultural traditions. We should strengthen cooperation in education and tourism, expand air links, increase media and youth exchanges and forge closer ties between sister cities. To increase youth exchanges, the Chinese Government invites 500 Indian youth to visit China in the next five years. We will also jointly host China-India Year of Friendship through Tourism in 2007.

Fourth, step up friendly consultation and work for an early settlement of the boundary issue. An early settlement of the boundary issue, which is left over from the past, represents the shared wish of the two peoples and serves the fundamental interest of the two countries. It will also contribute to peace and stability in the region. The early settlement of the boundary issue should therefore be pursued as a strategic goal for both countries. Progress has been made in the bilateral boundary talks in the past few years. The two countries have agreed upon the Political Parameters and Guiding Principles and begun discussions on a settlement framework. And there is peace and tranquility in the border areas. The growth of China-India relations has made it possible to accelerate the process of settling the boundary issue. China is ready to work with India, guided by the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence and the overall interests of the two countries, to actively seek a fair, just and mutually acceptable solution through peaceful and friendly means and consultation on an equal footing and in the spirit of mutual understanding and respect. We hope to turn China-India boundary into a bond of good-neighborliness and mutually beneficial cooperation. Pending the final settlement of the boundary issue, the two countries should maintain peace and tranquility in the border areas.

Fifth, develop multilateral cooperation and jointly uphold the legitimate rights and interests of developing countries. Over 50 years ago, Chinese and Indian leaders jointly initiated the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, making a major contribution to promoting world peace and stability and setting a model for enhancing friendship and cooperation in international affairs. China and India share broad common interests and play an increasingly important role in regional and international affairs. To China, India is a major partner of cooperation in Asia and the world. We should increase communication and coordination on major international issues to jointly uphold the overall interests of developing countries. We should promote multi-polarity in the world and democracy in international relations and work to make the international political and economic order fairer and more equitable. In regional affairs, we should strengthen regional and sub-regional cooperation and work together to build a harmonious Asia. China supports India's participation in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the East Asia Summit and welcomes India becoming a new member of the Asia-Europe Meeting.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Dear Friends,

China is now in a crucial stage of its reform and development endeavor. Over the past 28 years since the introduction of the reform and opening-up policy, China, guided by Deng Xiaoping Theory and the important thought of "Three Represents", has pursued a path of building socialism with Chinese features that is suited to its national conditions. As a result, it has made remarkable progress in economic and social development and made the historic leap from subsistence to a moderately prosperous life for its people. However, we are keenly aware of the problems we face, particularly a large population, weak economic foundation, uneven regional development and a per capita GDP that ranks after the 100th place in the world. To modernize China and enable the Chinese people to lead a well-off life remains a long-term and arduous task for us.

We have set the goal of building a moderately prosperous society in China in the first 20 years of the 21st century. We will, guided by a scientific outlook on development that puts people first and aims at comprehensive, coordinated and sustainable development, endeavor to build a harmonious society. Our target is to quadruple China's GDP of 2000 by 2020 so that it will reach US$ 4 trillion and US$ 3,000 in per capita terms. By then, China will have made greater progress in economic development, democracy, science and technology and education. It will have a more dynamic culture, more harmonious society and its people will lead a more prosperous life.

Confucius, a great ancient Chinese philosopher, observed, "One who wishes to achieve success should also help others achieve success." This is a key value of the Chinese culture. China wants to develop itself. It also hopes to live in harmony with other countries and work in cooperation with them for common development. No matter what will happen in the international environment, China will remain a champion of peace, development and cooperation. It will continue to pursue an independent foreign policy of peace, peaceful development and an opening-up strategy for mutual benefit and win-win progress. China endeavors to develop itself by upholding a peaceful international environment. Its development will, in turn, promote world peace. History has shown and will continue to show that China's development is peaceful, open and cooperative in nature and that China will remain a staunch force for world peace and common development.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Dear Friends,

South Asia is an important part of the Asian continent. People in South Asia aspire for peace, stability and development and governments in the region are dedicated to national development. South Asia has made steady progress in regional cooperation, sustained economic growth and enhanced its international standing. It is full of vigor and dynamism. We are greatly heartened by these developments in South Asia.

A peaceful and prosperous South Asia serves the common interests of China and all countries in the region. China welcomes political stability and economic prosperity in South Asia and harmonious coexistence and common development of countries in the region. It also welcomes and supports improvement of relations between India and Pakistan. China does not seek any selfish gains in South Asia and stands ready to play a constructive role in promoting peace and development in the sub-continent.

The decision by the SAARC to accept China as an observer marks a major progress in China's relations with the SAARC. China welcomes this positive development and is ready to enter into cooperation with the SAARC in various fields on the basis of equality and mutual benefit and thus contribute its share to the development and prosperity of South Asia.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Dear Friends,

"All people have their day, and the new generation will invariably succeed the old." These lines were written by Meng Haoran, a famous poet in China's Tang Dynasty over 1,200 years ago. Living in today's era, we enjoy the heritage of the past generations. At the same time, we are making history for the next generation. Friendship between China and India and between the two peoples is a long-term pursuit whose flourishing requires the efforts of our two peoples, from generation to generation. History will record what we have said about China-India friendship. More importantly, it will record what we have done for China-India friendship. Let us work together to enhance China-India strategic and cooperative partnership, build a world of enduring peace and common prosperity and create a bright future for our two countries and two peoples.

Thank you.

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