The year 2011 was the Year of China-India Exchange. The strategic and cooperative partnership for peace and prosperity between China and India maintained the momentum of sound and steady growth. Friendly exchanges and cooperation in various fields expanded.
High-level exchanges were frequent. In April, President Hu Jintao met with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who was attending the third BRICS Leaders Meeting in Sanya, Hainan Province. The two sides announced the launch of the Year of China-India Exchange and agreed to deepen China-India strategic cooperation, work for the early convocation of the first China-India Strategic Economic Dialogue meeting, expand economic cooperation and trade as well as people-to-people and cultural exchanges, advance negotiations on the boundary issue and explore the establishment of the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on China-India Border Affairs to maintain peace and tranquility in the border areas. In November, Premier Wen Jiabao met with Prime Minister Singh on the sidelines of the East Asian leaders' meetings in Bali, Indonesia.
Other important exchanges included: In January, President of the Bharatiya Janata Party Nitin Gadkari led a delegation to China. Member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee Li Changchun met with him. In April, the fifth meeting of the expert-level mechanism on trans-border rivers was held in Beijing. In July, Sitaram Yechury, member of the politburo of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and member of the Rajya Sabha, led a Communist Party of India (Marxist) delegation to China. Li Yuanchao, member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, member of the Secretariat of the CPC Central Committee and Minister of the Organization Department of the CPC Central Committee, and State Councilor Dai Bingguo met with him. In June, Bihar Chief Minister Natish Kumar visited China. In November, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi visited China.
The two foreign ministries maintained close communication and coordination. In May, officials from the Indian Ministry of External Affairs visited China. In July, China and India held the fourth counter-terrorism consultation. In September, a delegation of young foreign service officials under training at the Foreign Service Institute of India visited China.
The bilateral trade grew rapidly. The two sides have completed the joint feasibility studies on regional trading agreement between China and India and their areas of economic cooperation kept expanding. India is an important overseas project contracting market for China. In 2011, China signed US$14.1 billion of project contracts with India, with a business turnover of US$7.4 billion. China's non-financial direct investment in India was US$95.9 million. India made US$42.17 million of paid-in investment in 130 projects in China. By the end of 2011, China's total non-financial direct investment in India reached US$576 million, mainly in telecommunications, machinery manufacturing, metallurgy and home appliances, etc. India has made US$442 million of paid-in non-financial investment in 723 projects in China, mainly in finance, metallurgy, software, electric machinery, pharmaceutical and chemical industry, etc.
In September, the first China-India Strategic Economic Dialogue was held in Beijing. The meeting was co-chaired by Chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission Zhang Ping and Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission of India Montek Singh Ahluwalia. Premier Wen Jiabao met with members of the Indian delegation. In November, the fifth China-India Financial Dialogue was held in New Delhi. The dialogue was co-chaired by Assistant Finance Minister Wang Baoan and Secretary for Financial Services of the Ministry of Finance R. Gopalan. After the meeting, Assistant Minister Wang Baoan and Joint Secretary of the Ministry of Finance Alok Sheel signed the Joint Statement together.
Exchanges and cooperation in the military field continued to grow. In June, an Indian border troops delegation visited China. In December, the fourth round of China-India Defence and Security Consultation was held in New Delhi. Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the PLA General Ma Xiaotian and Defence Secretary Shashi Kant Sharma co-chaired the consultation. The two sides had an in-depth exchange of views on issues of shared interest, including regional security situation, military-to-military relations and the respective development of the defence forces of the two countries.
People-to-people and cultural exchanges and cooperation further expanded. In September, an Indian youth delegation of 500 members visited China. Premier Wen Jiabao attended the "Ancient Civilization, Vigorous Youth, A Grand Stage for China-India Youth Traditional Culture Exchange" activities. In April, "Experience China-Sichuan Week in India" activities were held in India. In May, Vice Minister of the General Administration of Press and Publication Wu Shulin visited India. Mr. Wu and Special Secretary for Public Diplomacy of the Ministry of External Affairs of India Jayant Prasad signed an MOU on compiling the Encyclopedia on China-India Cultural Contacts. In July, to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the birth of Rabindranath Tagore, the India Council for Cultural Relations and the Shanghai Municipal Archives Bureau jointly held the "Rabindranath Tagore in China" Photography Exhibition. In October, the Governing Board of Nalanda University held its meeting in Beijing. In November, China donated US$1 million to Nalanda University for its reconstruction. In December, Chinese Embassy in India and Friends of China Society (Indo) held a goodwill conference to mark diplomatic ties and friendship between China and India. There are around 45 direct flights per week between the two countries, linking Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Kunming, Shenzhen and Sanya of China with New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Kolkata of India.
China and India shared broad agreement and maintained good cooperation on major international and regional issues. The two countries have stayed in close communication and coordination under the mechanisms of China-India-Russia cooperation, Developing Five, BRICS and BASIC and on the Doha Round negotiations. They have coordinated their positions on such major issues as the international financial crisis, climate change, energy and food security and worked together to uphold the rights and interests of developing countries.