Speech by Chinese Ambassador to India Sun Yuxi at the Symposium on "Chindia - Compete or Collaborate"
2005/09/30

Mr. Amitt Mitra, Secretary General of FICCI,

Mr. S. N. Menon, Commerce Secretary,

Distinguished guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It gives me great pleasure to attend today's symposium. I would like to express my sincere thanks to FICCI for the positive efforts it made over years in the promotion of the economic and trade relations between China and India.

The theme of this symposium is "Chindia-Compete or Collaborate". I am very much impressed by the word: "Chindia". The way I understand this word is not China versus India, but China plus India. Since the names of our two countries so nicely fit each other. It indicates the collaboration is the dominant aspect in the China-India relations.

I think that the word "Chindia" is not simple superposition of the names of our two countries, but has a profound historical and cultural background. We are the neighbours linked by common mountains and rivers. The cultural and religious exchanges between the two countries can trace their histories back to ancient times. I think that in history there are at least three peak periods of the friendly interactions between us: First, historic exchanges between the two great civilizations initiated by the spreading of Buddhism that has lasted for more than 2000 years; Second, in the early years of last century, our two countries showed mutual sympathy and support in their respective struggles for national independence; Third, about half a century ago, the leaders of our two countries jointly advocated the Five Principles of Peaceful and Coexistence (Panchsheel), which has become the guide lines of international relations. The above three peak periods laid a lasting and solid foundation for the comprehensive development of China-India relationship at present.

The word "Chindia" also indicates that the two countries share a lot of commons points. We are the only two nations in this world that have a population exceeding 1 billion. We are the largest countries in Asia and the largest developing countries in the world. Both countries are embarking the same task of developing economies and improving the lives of the people. China and India hold a wide array of consensus and common interests in international and regional affairs, such as the promotion of democratization of international relations and the multipolarization of the world, the maintenance of the peace and stability in Asia, the growth of the Asian economy and the enhancement of the Asian regional cooperation. Last April, H.E. Mr. Wen Jiabao, Premier of the State Council of China paid a successful visit to India. The Premiers of our two countries signed a Joint Statement and declared the establishment of the strategic cooperative partnership for peace and prosperity, which opened a new chapter for the comprehensive development of our relations. I think it has marked the fourth peak period of the China-India friendship.

When I was a boy, the China-India friendship was in its heyday. I still remember people chanting "Hindi-Chini Bhai-Bhai". Today, I am very pleased to see that, with the continuous development of the China-India relations, the word "Chindia" emerges as the times require. When we use only one word to denote our two countries, I think the relationship between China and India is much closer than brotherhood.

I could not talk about the collaboration between China and India without mentioning the economic and trade development of our two countries. In the year of 2004, the bilateral trade between China and India was US$ 13.6 billion, representing an approximate increase of 80% over the corresponding period the year before. In the first half of 2005, the bilateral trade between our two countries has reached a total of US$ 9.3 billion, increasing 40% over the same part of last year. If such high growth rates can be kept, the aim that increasing the bilateral trade volume to US$ 20 billion or higher by 2008 fixed by Chinese and Indian Premiers will be realized the next year if not this year.

However, compared with the total trade volume of China, the share of our bilateral trade is too small. Given the size of our population and potential markets, I think our bilateral trade figure should not counted by tens of billions but hundreds of billions. Furthermore, China-India trade is still in a quite narrow range, and main import and export merchandize are iron ore, steel, coke, electronic products and machinery. In fact, the marketing potentials are much greater for Indian agriculture products, chemicals and pharmaceuticals, Chinese electric machinery and audio-video equipments and many other goods. The bilateral trade between our two countries is far from their due level. Widening the range of trade, keeping the insistent growth and establishing China-India Regional Trade Agreement should be our common objectives.

The collaboration potentials between China and India are also huge in the fields of service and investment. Nowadays, the Chinese investment in India is mainly in telecom, metallurgy, transportation and electrical equipment. India's Ranbaxy, Dr. Reddy's Laboratories, Tata Consultancy Service, Infosys and other big companies have set up joint ventures or subsidiaries in China, many enterprises have also opened representative offices in China. From now on, China's demand in the fields such as software, consultancy, auditing and accountancy will generate significant business opportunities for Indian service providers. India's big schemes to promote the construction of infrastructure will also provide opportunities for the Chinese construction and engineering enterprises. The governments of China and India haven't signed Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement. I sincerely wish that everybody present here could positively give a push for the early signing of such a agreement, which can provide better legal guarantee to the investors from both sides and build more confidence among them.

As developing countries, China and India is faced with many similar economic and social problems. We should jointly explore the approaches to resolve such problems. China and India may launch research together in the fields of agriculture, rural development, poverty alleviation, urban management, social security and disaster management, make the mutual beneficial collaboration between our two countries better serve our people.

Expanding the movement of the people between China and India is a must to deepen our collaboration. The total population of China and India is more than 2.3 billion, but there were only 330 thousand people exchange last year and there are only 11 direct flights per week, which dot not accord with the development level of our relations. Both the two sides should take feasible and effective measures to facilitate visa procedure, transportation and other services for the movement of people. I wish, in the near future, people shuttling between our two countries will not counted by thousands, but by millions.

Being strategic cooperative partners, China and India should also have their eyes on the collaboration at the regional and international level. Our two countries should potentiate the coordination and collaboration in Asia Cooperation Dialogue, Shanghai Cooperation Organization and other mechanisms, promote broader regional economic integration in the region. During the negotiations in WTO and other international organizations, China and India should continuously intensify the concerted operations and safeguard the interests of both our two countries and other developing countries. I believe, when dealing with regional and international affairs, if China and India can speak in one voice, it will be the strongest voice in the world.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

When it comes to the China-India relationship, many people use the word "competition" to describe it. Now, I would also like to share with you some of my views on the competition between China and India.

Firstly, we should frankly accept that there is competition between China and India. Of course, compared with the great collaboration potentials between our two countries, it is only the subordinate aspect of the bilateral relations. It should be aware that in a time of economic globalization, competition exists not only between China and India but also among all the countries universally. Without competition, the human society will miss some dynamic for progress. Therefore, we should not maintain a negative attitude towards the positive competition which might stimulate the development.

Secondly, the competition between China and India may create new opportunities for collaboration. Both China and India are short of energy resources and need to exploit the overseas petroleum and natural gas resources. With a view to avoid the disadvantageous impact to our two countries caused by such a competition, China and India are actively exploring the possibility to jointly exploit the petroleum and natural gas resources in the third country. Recently, the Additional Secretary from the Indian Petroleum Ministry paid a visit to China. The Petroleum Minister of India is also scheduled to visit China later this year and hold discussion with the Chinese side on the collaboration of energy resources. We should try our best to find more chances of seeking collaboration from competition.

Thirdly, we must clearly understand the nature and aim of competition between China and India. As partners and friends, the competition between our two countries is absolutely not the life-and-death fight in jungles. It is more like a long-distance race. China and India should be two runners following the Olympic spirits of peace, friendship and progress. In this match, China may keep ahead in this 100 meters, but in next 100 meters, India may overtake China. However, in a long-term view, we can learn from and even support each other in the match. China and India are striving for a common aim, which is building a stable, wealthy and harmonious society. Don't forget, when China and India dash across the finishing tape of this match, one third population of the world will be benefited and the collective power of developing countries will be greatly strengthened. At that time, we can proudly declare, the two time-honored civilizations, China and India have made their appropriate contribution to the development of mankind!

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In this month, while meeting H.E. Mr. Manmohan Singh, Prime Minster of India, H.E. Mr. Hu Jintao, President of China noted, the China-India relations face important development opportunities, both sides should take a broad and long-term view to actively expand the mutually beneficial cooperation in various fields and constantly enrich the connotation of bilateral strategic partnership. That points out the direction of development of China-India relations. We should take the responsibility entrusted by the history, have the future in mind, march forward hand in hand, further develop the traditional China-India friendship and create a new harmonious, mutual beneficial and win-win situation in Chindia.

Thank you!

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