China-India Relations in 2009

In 2009, the strategic and cooperative partnership for peace and prosperity between the People's Republic of China and the Republic of India maintained the momentum of all-round growth. Bilateral friendly exchanges and cooperation in various fields were further expanded.

The two countries maintained close high-level exchanges and enjoyed growing political mutual trust. On 15 June, President Hu Jintao met with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the sidelines of the SCO Summit and the first BRIC summit in Yekaterinburg. Premier Wen Jiabao met with Prime Minster Singh during the summits of East Asian leaders in Hua Hin and the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen on 24 October and 18 December respectively.

The Chinese leaders said that India is an important neighbour and a major emerging country that is growing rapidly. China and India are partners in cooperation rather than rivals in competition. Given the profound adjustments and changes in the region and the world, good-neighbourly friendship, mutually beneficial cooperation and common development serve the fundamental interests of both countries, the shared aspiration of both peoples, and peace, stability and prosperity in Asia and beyond. The Indian leader said that a deepening India-China relationship has gone beyond the bilateral scope and gained global significance. The Indian government will give top priority to its ties with China. It is committed to building on the progress already achieved to promote cooperation across the board and advance the strategic and cooperative partnership.

Other important exchanges include: In January, Sachin Pilot, member of the Lok Sabha (People's Assembly) of India, visited China at the head of a delegation from the India-China Forum of Parliamentarians. The third China-India Financial Dialogue was held in India in the same month. In April, State Councilor Dai Bingguo met with India's National Security Advisor M. K. Narayanan alongside the meeting of senior representatives of BRIC countries on security issues in Moscow. In August, State Councilor Dai Bingguo, China's Special Representative on China-India Boundary Question, went to India for the 13th meeting with his Indian counterpart. He also met separately with Prime Minister Singh and President of the Indian National Congress Sonia Gandhi. In September, B.S. Yediyurappa, Chief Minister of Karnataka, led a delegation to China. In November, Liu Qibao, member of the CPC Central Committee and Secretary of the Sichuan Provincial CPC Committee, led a delegation to India.

The foreign ministries of the two countries maintained close consultation and coordination. In January, Vice Foreign Minister He Yafei visited India as the special envoy of the Chinese government. He met with India's Minister of External Affairs Pranab Mukherjee, National Security Adviser M. K. Narayanan and Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia, and held talks with Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon. In February, at a stop-over in India, Assistant Foreign Minister Hu Zhengyue met with Vivek Katju, Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs. In July, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi met with his Indian counterpart S. M. Krishna on the sidelines of the ARF Foreign Minister's Meeting in Phuket, Thailand. In October, the two ministers met again in Bangalore, where foreign ministers of China, Russia and India had a meeting. The two talked by phone in December and exchanged views on bilateral ties and climate change.

Economic cooperation and trade maintained sound momentum. India is the most important overseas contract market for China. By the end of 2009, China had signed US$31.4 billion worth of contracts for projects and workers in India. In March, Vice Commerce Minister Zhong Shan led a government trade promotion delegation to India. In September, Commerce Minister Chen Deming led a delegation to the WTO Ministerial Meeting in New Delhi, where he met India's Minister of Commerce and Industry Anand Sharma.

Exchanges between the militaries were growing. In April, Admiral Sureesh Mehta, Chief of the Naval Staff, led an Indian naval fleet to Qingdao for the 60th anniversary of the Chinese Navy. In August, the Chinese missile destroyer "Shenzhen" Made a port call at Cochin upon completion of an escort mission in the Gulf of Aden and waters off the Somali coast. In September, Lt. General Vijay Kumar Singh, Commander-in-Chief of the Eastern Command of the Indian Army, led a delegation to China. In December, General Ge Zhenfeng, Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the PLA, and Lt. General Shu Yutai, Chief of the Tibet Military Command, visited India.

Cooperation in addressing climate change became a new highlight. In August, Jairam Ramesh, Minister of State for Environment and Forests, visited China. In October, NDRC Vice Chairman Xie Zhenhua visited India and the two countries signed an agreement on cooperation in dealing with climate change and established a climate change partnership. In November, Minister of State Ramesh was invited to China for a ministerial meeting on climate change among Basic countries (China, India, Brazil and South Africa). In December, prior to the Copenhagen Conference, Premier Wen and Prime Minister Singh had a telephone conversation on climate change.

Cultural and people-to-people exchanges and cooperation expanded steadily. In March, Zhen Xinmiao, Director of the Palace Museum, visited India. In April, Vice Culture Minister Zhao Shaohua and the Indian Ambassador to China Nirupama Rao signed a memorandum of understanding on holding the "Festival of China" In India and the "Festival of India" In China in 2010. In June, Arun Yadav, Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports, led a 100-member Indian youth delegation to China. In return, He Junke, Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Youth League and Vice Chairman of the All-China Youth Federation, led a 100-member Chinese youth delegation to India in November. In December, the Ministry of Culture and the Indian Council for Cultural Relations signed an implementation agreement on holding the "Festival of China" in India and the "Festival of India" in China in 2010.

The two countries shared broad agreement and maintained good cooperation in major regional and international affairs. In the China-India-Russia trilateral cooperation and BRIC meetings, dialogue meetings between the leaders of the G8 and developing countries, the G20 summits, ASEM and the Doha Round talks, the two countries maintained close consultation and collaboration, coordinated positions on major issues including the international financial crisis, climate change, energy security and food security, and worked together to uphold the legitimate rights and interests of developing countries.

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