NEW DELHI, Oct. 15 (Xinhua) -- At a meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in east China's Hangzhou city last month, Chinese President Xi Jinping said that China is willing to work with India to maintain their hard-won sound relations and deepen cooperation.
Xi told Modi that China-India ties have enjoyed healthy, stable and speedy development over the past years, and that as neighbors and developing nations, the two countries should continue high-level exchanges.
He also said that China and India should continue dialogue at various levels and in all areas, and frequently exchange views on major issues of common interest to enhance understanding and trust. The two countries should seek synergy between their development strategies and discuss the implementation of pragmatic cooperation in large projects of infrastructure construction and production capacity, said Xi.
He proposed that the two sides strengthen people-to-people exchanges and promised that China would continue to encourage Chinese companies to invest in India. China and India should respect and care for each other on issues of major concern, and handle differences in a constructive way.
Modi said in response that strategic partnership is of great importance both to the two countries and to the rest of the world, highlighting close high-level exchanges, bilateral trade and people-to-people exchanges.
HARD-WON SOUND RELATIONS
China and India are two large Asian nations with ancient civilizations. They have maintained in-depth cultural and people-to-people exchanges for thousands of years. About 1,400 years ago, Chinese Buddhist monk Xuan Zang visited and stayed in India for a long time and wrote about the ancient civilizations of India, which remain among the most authoritative historical materials for India.
During the fight against Western imperialism in the 19th century and the early half of the 20th century, the peoples of the two countries had supported and sympathized with each other. China supported India's freedom fight against British colonial rule, while Indians sent their best sons like Doctor Kwarkanath S. Kotnis to China to help in the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression.
Culturally, the two countries have deep and wide relations. Rabindranath Tagore is one of the most loved writers and poets in China. At the Hangzhou G20 Summit, Xi recited a poem by Tagore on the beauty of the West Lake written nearly a century ago.
In the 1950s, former Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai and the then Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru joined hands to expound the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, spearheading a new global guideline for international relations and greatly promoting the prestige of developing countries and newly independent Asian and African countries.
Due to historical reasons and problems left over by imperialists, the two countries experienced some turbulences in relations in the 1960s and the 1970s. But relations gradually came back to normalcy since the visit by former Indian Prime Minster Rajiv Gandhi to Beijing in 1988.
Former Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping said that an Asian Century will not become a reality unless China and India, the world's two most populous nations, become prosperous together.
Over the past few decades, both China and India have picked up quickly and seen a revival of cooperation in political, economic and cultural fields and people-top-people exchanges. Their bilateral trade has reached nearly 80 billion U.S. dollars annually.
The two sides have also signed treaties to maintain peace and tranquility in the boundary area while holding negotiations by special representatives on border disputes to seek a peaceful solution at a proper time in a mutually acceptable way and in a fair manner. The militaries of the two sides have established several mechanisms to avoid clashes in the border area.
The peaceful situation between the two countries has benefitted not only the peoples of the two countries, but also the whole Asia and Indian Ocean region.
Since Modi came to power two years ago, there has been frequent exchange of high-level visits by leaders of the two countries to each other.
It is obvious that the present sound relations between the two nations are hard-won, as Xi said.
CONTINUOUS DIALOGUE TO ENHANCE TRUST, UNDERSTANDING
It is recognized that there are numerous differences between China and India. Apart from border disputes, the two countries also differ over some international and regional issues which could hamper and even disrupt smooth development of bilateral relations.
However, as Chinese leaders have repeatedly pointed out, differences between the two countries should not block the development of normal and good relations. Common interests outweigh differences between the two sides.
Over the past several years, the two countries have engaged in strategic dialogue in a wide range of sectors including finance, macro-management, cybersecurity, energy security and anti-terrorism.
Moreover, the two countries have been carrying out cooperation within the frameworks of the G20, the BRICS bloc grouping Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, and the Untied Nations. Both China and India are founding members of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and are starting dialogue over global nuclear safety and non-proliferation. Both countries are trying to boost trust and understanding through various channels.
When attending the 6th meeting of BRICS senior representatives on security issues in New Delhi last month, Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi said that China is ready to make joint efforts with other BRICS nations to make the upcoming BRICS summit in India's Goa a success and inject new dynamics into BRICS cooperation.
When meeting representatives from BRICS nations for the security meeting, Modi said the BRICS nations are playing an increasingly constructive role in international affairs, while expressing his belief that the BRICS summit in Goa could yield practical results and cement friendly relations among the BRICS nations so as to enhance the influence of developing countries and emerging economies.
"China is willing to join hands with India to implement the consensus reached by leaders of the two countries, deepen mutual political trust, expand pragmatic cooperation and friendly exchanges, and properly handle sensitive issues in order to push forward the development of bilateral ties in the right direction and promote Asia's development and prosperity," said Yang.
India joined last year the Shanghai Cooperation Organization to coordinate stand on maintaining regional peace, bringing back peace to Afghanistan and strengthening the fight against terrorism.
Indian officials have expressed their intention recently to boost political communication, expand pragmatic cooperation and promote cooperation and coordination with China within the framework of the G20 and BRICS so as to press ahead with common development and safeguard common interests of the two countries.
SEEKING SYNERGY OF DEVELOPMENT, PRAGMATIC COOPERATION
Many have pointed out that the economic development of China and India can provide opportunities for each other through trade, investment and other exchanges. Pragmatic cooperation in economic and trade area has proved to be a powerful locomotive for the development of bilateral ties.
As the world's two largest developing countries and emerging economies, the two countries can benefit from each other's prosperity and there is enough space for the two countries to seek synergy of development strategies and achieve common development.
China and India have been successfully cooperating in IT, infrastructure, e-commerce, industrial production. Thousands of Indian students are studying in China, mostly in medical schools. The number of tourists to each other has also multiplied over the past few years, especially after India granted e-visas for Chinese tourists.
China has also welcomed India's proposal to combine the Belt and Road Initiative with the Spice and Monsoon Roads projects of India to expand economic and trade ties with the Indian Ocean island nations and Africa, while cooperating with India in building oil pipelines from Central Asia and Russia.
The Belt and Road Initiative, which comprises the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, was brought up by Xi in 2013, with the aim of building a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient Silk Road routes.
As for India's "Act East" policy, China has sent positive messages for enhancing inter-connectivity with ASEAN (the Association of Southeast Asian Nations) and South Asian nations to bring together the dynamics of the whole Asian continent.
China has also called on India to jointly develop the Himalayan region by building a tripartite economic corridor with Nepal and build a Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar economic corridor as well.
Through synergy of development strategies and pragmatic cooperation, the two countries can build closer ties and tap into the potential of cooperation for the good of their own peoples.
This will also help increase mutual political trust and understanding between the two countries in seeking solution to their differences and disputes in future.