China-India cooperation outweighs our differences
2018/04/27

On April 26, 2018, Indian Newspaper The Hindustan Times published the article "China-India cooperation outweighs our differences " of Chinese Ambassador to India Luo Zhaohui. The full text is as follows:

President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Modi will have an informal summit in Wuhan city from April 27th to 28th. It is a major topic of our era for China and India to join hands and respond to the evolving international situation.

Global and strategic significance of China-India relations is rising. As the two largest developing countries and major emerging markets, China and India need to explore ways to get along with each other. With backlash against globalization, heart-to-heart talks between Chinese and Indian leaders will promote free trade, strengthen unity among developing countries and uphold world equity and justice.

The realistic and practical significance of China-India relations is more evident. Both countries are at the critical stage of economic development, deepening reform and modernization. Socialism with Chinese characteristics has entered a new era. The 19th National Congress of CPC laid out the grand blueprint for makingChina a great modern socialist country in every dimension. India put forward 3-year Action Agenda, blueprint for "New India" by 2022 and the 15-year National Development Agenda. The 3-year Action Agenda mentioned China 67 times. Our development goals have overlapping time span and can learn from each other.

Since 18th National Congress of CPC, President Xi and Prime Minister Modi have met 13 times. The "hometown diplomacy" has become a popular topic. When Doklam standoff broke out, the two leaders' personal input and wisdom of diplomatic teams together ensured its proper resolution. In Xiamen summit, the two leaders agreed to look forward and reached important consensus for holding the informal summit.

China-India relationsarestabilizing and improving, laying a solid foundation for the informal summit. More than 30 dialogue mechanisms have covered all fields. Since the end of last year, China and India's Special Representatives on Boundary Question and Foreign Ministers exchanged visits. China-India Joint EconomicGroups, China-India Strategic Economic Dialogue and other dialogue mechanisms have been activated. These efforts contribute to the positive atmosphere and consensus building for the informal summit.

Economic and trade cooperation is surging against all odds. Bilateral trade volumein 2017 is $ 84.4 billion. China remains India's largest trading partner. India is China's largest market for projectscontractingand second largest investmentdestination. Chinese cellphonesoccupy half Indian market.

Cultural and personnel exchanges are surging. There are 14 pairs of sister city/province. Personnel exchanges in 2017 exceed 1 million. Over 20,000 Indian students study in China. 42 flights operate between the two countries every week. It's a fashion for Chinese youth to practice yoga, drink Darjeeling tea and watch Bollywood movies. In my recent visits to Indianstates and universities, many people hoped that China could send teachers to teach Chinese here. Chinese language education has promising prospects in India.

Reality is rooted in history. History is full of touching stories about eminent monks like Xuanzang andBodhidharma traveling over mountains and oceans between China and Indiaon lonely trips along ancient Silk Road. In the 1950s, China and India co-proposed Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence (Panchshel), making new contribution to modern international relations. President Xi and PM Modi's discussions on world trend and guidance on the dance between dragon and elephant will make history and contribute to the process of building a new type of international relations and community with a shared future for mankind.

No doubt that there are many facets to the complex China-India relations. It's natural for neighbors to have differences. When differences can't be solved for now, we should properly manage them and focus on cooperation. Our consensus and cooperation far outweigh differences and competition.

For China-India relations, we should bear in mind long term vision, hold reasonably optimistic expectations and give full play to five magic tools, i.e. the "Navigator" of leaders' strategic guidance, the "Accelerator" of practical cooperation, the "Booster" of people to people exchanges, the "Enhancer" of multilateral cooperation, and the "Stabilizer" of difference control. The ship of China-India friendship is ready for sailing. Let us together look forward to a successful informal summit between the two leaders in Wuhan.

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